In the heart of the Himalayas, Nepali craftspeople have been producing handmade paper for over a thousand years. Bhaktapur Craft Paper (BCP) a UNICEF project, uses this ancient tradition to help low income rural and urban families earn a fair and equitable income while sustaining an important traditional craft. BCP is committed to community development and invests a substantial percentage of their profits in community projects such as wa
ter supply, sanitation, resource conservation, education, and day care facilities. When purchasing these products you are helping Nepali people help themselves. Ganesh Himal Trading is proud to have been working in partnership with BCP since 1986. Read more about BCP, download a store poster and pictures on our BCP Artisan page here >>>>
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BCP's Paper Making Process
Bush to Journal, Rural to Urban: Papermaking Connects Many Lives
Prized for its durability, soft texture, and natural color, Lokta paper is an environmentally friendly, tree-free paper made from the bark of the regenerating Daphne bush. Originally used in Tibetan monasteries for sacred texts, the making of Lokta paper is a village tradition dating back thousands of years. Today, this ancient technique is used for official government documents in Nepal, as well as Ganesh Himal's beautiful paper goods. The paper is naturally insect free and will last more than 100 years.
Daphne grows in the Himalayan forests of north central Nepal between 4,000-8,000 ft. Lokta cutters sustainably collect the bark of the daphne according to the "Lokta Management Plan" that implements a 6 to 8 year rotation cycle to preserve the fragile forest ecology. Harvesters sell the bark to families to use for making paper during the off-season of farming [November to mid June]. Ganesh Himal works with the Bhaktapur Craft Paper (BCP) project which contracts with villages in the Baglung area to purchase all of their marketable paper. Approximately 500 rural families benefit from this traditional craft in cooperation with BCP. These traditional farmers are badly in need of sustainable income to supplement their subsistence farming which is why BCP has chosen to work directly with them, agreed to buy their production every year, and to return as much as 30% of their profits to social and health services in these underserved areas.
Paper makers take the raw bark and chop it into fine pieces which are cleaned and boiled. Wooden mallets are then used to further break down the bark into a pulp. The pulp is mixed with wood ash and water to make a paste...continue reading here. (must be logged in)