Handmade Printer Paper with Natural Dye
The Katshulha 100% Lokta paper is dyed using a unique dye, but one that is found in many common items.
The dye is derived from resin created by the Kerria Lacca bug that attaches itself to Kusum (Schleichera) and Dhak (Butea) trees.
Lac is the scarlet resinous secretion of a number of species of lac insects, of which the most commonly cultivated species is Kerria lacca.
Cultivation begins when a farmer gets a stick (broodlac) that contains eggs ready to hatch and ties it to the tree to be infested. Thousands of lac insects colonize the branches of the host trees and secrete the resinous pigment. The coated branches of the host trees are cut and harvested as sticklac.
The harvested sticklac is crushed and sieved to remove impurities. The sieved material is then repeatedly washed to remove insect parts and other soluble material. The resulting product is known as seedlac. The prefix seed refers to its pellet shape. (Wikipedia: Lac)
It’s a dye that’s been used throughout history. Dye from this bug was used to color the uniforms of the British Redcoats, but can also create a rich pink (“Pink Coats” anyone?). The dye and shellac is also used in nail polish, and even foods (yes, foods, especially sweets).
This natural resin is what is used to create the Katshulha paper color, making it a truly unique paper.
Handmade Lokta Paper following a Thousand-year-old Tradition
The paper itself comes from a non-tree source. Lokta bushes which grow on the southern slopes of the Himalayan mountains of Nepal have been used for over a thousand years to create lokta paper.
Once, cut the bushes quickly regrow, making it a sustainable source rare in paper making.
The inner fibers are cooked into a pulpy mash and then spread by hand across boxed screens and set to dry on the Himalayan mountainside. The fibers fuse and connect and form the paper against the screen.
Upon close inspection, you can even see which side was the screen side, due to the fine screen pattern left in the paper, and which side was the sun-kissed side, due to the natural bumps and texture.
Natural flecks from the outer bark can also been seen in the paper, giving individuality to each page.
Available in 25 and 100 Sheets
The 100 sheets are wrapped in natural color lokta paper packet. The 25 sheets have a clear packing with a lokta paper band around the middle.