Evolution of Handmade paper in Nepal:
Nepalese paper, with unique toughness and softness, is of ancient origin. It is difficult to trace how and when this traditional paper came to be introduced in Nepal. According to history, the Chinese people knew the art of making paper even before the Christian era; Next, this paper craft spread to Tibet where those days the Lama Buddhists started scribing Buddhist manuscripts. Even in those ancient days, there was trade and intercourse between Nepal and Tibet: the, merchants of Nepal went to Tibet and the people of Tibet used to come to Nepal on pilgrimage to famous Buddhist shrines of the Kathmandu Valley. So it is likely the people of Nepal learnt the technique of making paper from the Tibetans. It is, however, noteworthy that in Nepal the people engaged in making traditional papers are generally those who live in the northern regions of Nepal - specially those who live on the caravan routes beading to Lhasa in Tibet;
The art of paper making gradually spread to the western parts of Nepal - specially among the Gurungs and Magars. In the eastern parts, the Rai's excelled in this technique. The Nepalese paper was much in use in all the offices of the government even up to 1950. But on the advent of democracy in Nepal, the government offices started using paper imported from India. This, of course, came to affect, adversely, the age-old technology of paper making in Nepal. A great slack occurred in the Nepalese paper industry. Many paper-makers were thrown out of job. Recently, however, the Traditional Nepalese Paper came to retrieve recognition. Foreign visitors, who see the value of the handmade-paper, have started purchasing it for a variety of uses in their own homes. Thus these tourists have helped to boost up the traditional paper-craft. This is one of the reasons why the production of this paper is still thriving in places like Baglung and Dailekh in the west, and Solukhumbu, Ramechhap and Barabise in the east of Nepal.
History of Paperworld Nepal:
Paperworld Nepal Private Limited founded by Marie Jeanne Budé (an paper artist) and Nagendra Bhandari in 1997, unique among many other handmade paper manufacturers. The paper products are made from different combination of natural fibers, pulp and art materials. Our products have crossed the boundary of making only sheet papers to many office stationery, guest’s book, albums attractive packaging for cosmetics and jewelry, craft paper & curtain for home decoration to a fine art pieces made from handmade paper and fibers. Since all our product are handmade we give lot of employment to people thus more under privileged men and women from the mountain are directly benefiting from this work.
Paperworld Nepal employ 90% of skilled, semi skilled and unskilled women of total employees, enabling them self reliance, so that they do not need to depend on men to survive. Paperworld Nepal pays fair salaries to all employees and encourage them to perform better through incentives.
From the early starting of Paperworld we are organizing various workshop for paper artists and school children as well as providing trainings and seminars abroad on hand papermaking. Now Paper world is striving to develop new technology on recycling papers preventing Pollution, excess solid waste, reduction of fresh water consumption finally saving energy.