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Making shifu is a Japanese tradition of weaving cloth made from paper thread. Japanese handmade paper made from kozo fiber is usually used to make the thread although for this project mitsumata and gampi fibers were used as well. Making kami-ito (paper thread) is an involved process that takes fine hand skills and patience.


The resulting cloth is soft and light, with lovely drape. Shifu making continues today, although not in large quantities. Instead some dedicated artists continue to create shifu with the intention of keeping this ancient craft alive, and preserve appreciation for this delicate yet strong material.

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