Frequently Asked Questions

Lokta Paper Journal - Kathmandu Valley Co.

Is Lokta paper really hand made?

Yes. Lokta paper really is hand made.

Artisans in the rural villages of Nepal collect the Lokta bush, removing the outer bark utilizing the fibrous inner bark which is pulled into strips then “cooked” to soften and create a mash which is applied by hand to boxed screens and set to dry in the sun where the mash dries into thin sheets creating the beautiful lokta paper.

What does lokta paper come from?

Lokta is a bush that grows on the southern slopes of the Nepali Himalayas between 5,250 and 13,000 feet. Lokta paper is made from cuttings of the Lokta bush.

How strong is lokta paper?

The durable fibers make the paper resistant to tearing, humidity, insects, and mildew, but lokta paper is not yak-proof, so take special consideration there.

What are the flecks in the paper?

As a natural product, Lokta paper includes specks or remnants from the bark of the Lokta bush. These flecks add distinction and beauty to the page.

What is deckle edge paper?

The edges of the paper can be clean-cut (straight and uniform) like a standard notebook or deckle edge. Deckle edge pages are “rough cut” by hand providing a more natural and traditional feel to the pages.

Why do deckle edge pages seem to stick together?

Clean-cut pages are easier to flip through and turn. Turning deckle edge pages takes a little more time, because the edge of each page is unique and the length varies slightly from page to page. It is a traditional style that many prefer, providing a very soft edge to the paper.

Is the paper textured?

Yes. In one of the last steps in the paper making process, the Lokta pulp from the bush is spread out on screens and sun dried. The screens produce a beautiful texture that can be felt or seen upon close inspection. The fibers themselves also provide a texture.

How does lokta paper feel?

The paper feels soft (especially the deckle edge as there are no hard edges). It is still a paper, but some have described it has having a “fabric-like” feel to it which is due to the unique lokta fibers used to make the paper.

What kind of pen should I use on the paper?

Really, any pen you like. Different pens: ballpoint, rollerball, gel, and fountain pens all work on lokta paper, but different variations within each group may work better to your liking. Try out your favorite type of pen, but exploring different pen types and thickness (micro, fine, regular, bold) can be fun as well.

Pens will usually be rated with a ink thickness rating in millimeters. These can vary by pen type, but 0.5mm and below is usually considered micro (very thin ink-line), 0.7mm is fine/medium, and 1.0mm and above as bold.

We like the vibrant color that 0.7mm gel and rollerball pens provide as most are fade proof and water proof. Fountain pens with a fine nib and waterproof ink for permanence are also a great choice.

Check out our humble pen guide for more info on pens.

Does ink bleed on the paper?

Different ink, pen types, and pressure used can produce different results on any paper.

In general, ink on lokta paper does not bleed very easily if at all. A felt-tip permanent marker can produce a minimal amount of bleed versus a swift stroke on computer paper for example, but these type of markers/pens can easily bleed on many papers.

What is the leather you use in your journals?

The leather comes from Water Buffalo hides and is vegetable tanned.

Where is Kathmandu?

Kathmandu is the capital of Nepal and is situated in a valley surrounded by many large mountains.

Where can I buy your journals?

At the moment, our journals are sold exclusively in the world’s largest marketplace, Amazon.com.

Do you ship internationally (outside of the US)?

For customers with an Amazon.com account, options for international shipping will be available soon but are limited to the Amazon export rules and guidelines.

What is Kathmandu Valley Co.?

Kathmandu Valley Co.TM is our special brand for our Nepali journals. Kathmandu is the capital of Nepal. We are US-based with close ties to Nepal. Our paper is made in the highlands of Nepal, and the journals are completed in Kathmandu by skilled artisans.

Can you engrave a personalized name my journal?

At this time, we’re not able to customize/personalize orders with engraving. However, many engraving/trophy shops offer engraving services such as laser engraving where you could have your journal personalized.

Can my order be delivered by Yak?

Unfortunately, Yak mail is not an option we currently offer. Shipping speed options will appear on the Amazon checkout page with 1-day, 2-day, and standard shipping as the most common options.

What does Namaste mean?

Namaste is often translated as “I bow to the divine in you.” 

It is the common greeting in Nepal.

How can I help with Nepali earthquake relief?

On April 25 a massive earthquake struck Nepal. The destruction in many areas was catastrophic in every sense of the word, but the spirit of the Nepali people is truly incredible. Many charities, countries, individuals and groups have provided aid. The International Red Cross among many others is working hard in Nepal and could benefit from donations.