Frequently Asked Questions
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 and 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.
Where does lokta paper come from?
From the Lokta bushes 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.
Is the paper sustainably sourced?
Yes. Lokta bushes are not destroyed when harvested for lokta paper.
Shoots from the bush are cut which allow new shoots to grow from the same plant. In only about 5 to 7 years the Lokta bush can grow back to it’s full height.
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 boxed screens and dried in the Himalayan sun.
The screens produce a beautiful texture that can be felt or seen upon close inspection.
The “sun-kissed” side retains a natural texture as the fibers solidify.
How does lokta paper feel?
The paper feels soft (especially the deckle edge as there are no hard edges).
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, glass dip pens, 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 through the paper?
Different ink, pen types, and pressure, and stroke speed used can produce different results on any paper.
If you have a pen that lays down the ink thick as in a medium or thick fountain pen nib, or 0.7 or higher gel pen, you may see ghosting or even some bleed through.
If you’re concerned about bleed through or ghosting, we suggest you look at our Nepali Eco Clean-cut Epic journals which have paper twice as thick as our standard paper.
Does ink feather on the paper?
Feathering refers to the ink spreading out into the paper (as opposed to through it).
Because of the fibrous nature of the paper, there can be some minimal feathering depending on the type of ink used.
What is the leather you use in your journals?
For most of our leather journals, the leather comes from Water Buffalo hides and is vegetable tanned. The Nepali Expedition journal uses goat leather.
Where is Kathmandu?
Kathmandu is the capital of Nepal and is situated in a valley surrounded by many large mountains.
Is Kathmandu really spelled with a “th”?
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 to locations other than 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. 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 my name or personalize a 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?
Yak mail is currently not available in your country.
Regular 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, 2015, 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.
Thank you for helping to preserve a 1,000 year old tradition in Nepali paper making and helping to support those affected by the earthquake that struck Nepal on April 25, 2015.