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Suminagashi (marbling)

Suminagashi (marbling)

The last type of traditional coloring method we look at is marbling (suminagashi, literally “ink-spreading”). Watch the video to see examples.

Marbling consists in floating dots of ink on water and gently working them to create interesting patterns. As the last step, a sheet of paper is immersed in the solution so that the pattern is transferred onto the paper. Already in use in the Heian period, the method remained in use until the early-modern period (1600-1868). By the 18th century, black ink was often combined with other colors, such as blue, red or gold. The final effect is similar to the marbled papers produced by Western papermakers.

Please take a look at the “SEE ALSO” section at the bottom of the page for more examples.

Books introduced in the video:

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The Art of Washi Paper in Japanese Rare Books

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