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History of Hanji

  • Hanji is a valuable material closely connected with Korean nation and used to referred as one of the four precious things of the study. Hanji has taken very important role in life of Korean nation and still remains in existence and introduces the excellence of Hanji to the whole world.In human society, it is no exaggeration to say that development of culture are resulted by paper. Korea’s originated paper, Hanji was introduced to neighboring countries and called as “Dak Jong E” in Korean language by its main ingredient being “Dak” (paper mulberry).There is no clear historical record of the initial Hanji production in Korea, but the paper discovered from Bangmatan ancient tomb in China that made in the second century B.C., and suppose the paper production technology was transferred aroung this time.In AD 105 during the lather Han dynasty when Cai Lun improved paper, Korea also produced paper through own creative technology improvement. High quality white and fine papers were already exported to China during Silla Dynasty. As handcrafts being specialized and, technologies of printing and paper manufacturing being advanced in Koryo dynasty, better quality papers were exported.Especially, with Korea’s own unique lifting method using single screen different than China’s filtered lifting method, whither and shiny strong papers were produced and exported and China and other neighboring countries.The most popular classifications are material, method, purpose and size, and there about 200 different types according to these classifications.Mainly Hanji has used for the purpose of painting and writing, and also applied to household goods as well as art that expresses decorative beauty by creatively advancing various crafts technic from day to day life.

Manufacturing Process of Hanji

Mulberry harvest and steeping to prepare for barking
The harvest of one-year old paper mulberry tree begins in November and continues through February. Paper mulberry branches are steamed for easy peeling. After steaming, the peeled barks are removed the outer layer from the black bark. Bark peeling is peeled again to make white bark.
Cooking of the white bark
An alkaline solution that they obtained by ashes(buckwheat stalk, straw, bean stalk and so on) in water. The white bark is socked in the alkaline solution called lye and boiled for 4~5 hours to remove non-fibrous materials (lignin, pectin and so on).
Washing boiled mulberry and bleaching of the bast fiber, cleaning impurities
After boiling, the bast fibers are washed in flowing water for about half a day and bleached with the sunlight under the water for 5~7days.
After washing and bleaching, the bast fibers that are damaged by hail, frost, insects, or sprouts are sorted out one by one.
Disintegrating mulberry fibers and dissolving “mulberry starch”(darkpul)
The clean bast fibers are beaten on the stone by the wooden bat to soften the fabric. After beating, the beaten bast fibers are separated with the water and mix those well with mulberry starch called darkpul in the chest. The darkpul obtained from the root of hibiscus (Controlling the fiber precipitation in the chest, and the flowing speed of water on the wire).
Forming the wet sheet
The traditional method of papermaking uses a tool called Oibal. A frame is inserted and water removed to make two wet papers. To adjust thickness, two wet papers are attached in different directions to make one complete sheet of paper. In this way, the paper becomes more durable.
Removing the water from the mat of sheet by pressing
After making a pile of about 400~500 sheets of papers, it has to be left for a long time(during one night) to remove water completely. If water is manually removed, scars are remained on the papers.
Drying the sheet
Korean papers are dried on heated floors, wooden walls, or sunlight.
Slow drying dries papers evenly, prevents shrinking, and makes papers more durable. These days, steel panels are heated with hot steam and used to dry each sheet of paper.
Pounding the dried paper sheets
The dried sheets are pounded to make the surface smooth. This process is known as ‘dochim.’ Traditionally, a treadmill-type pounding device was used. The process of ‘dochim’ not only compresses the fibers, but also makes the surface smoother and more lustrous.

Usage of Hanji

General Area Traditional Hanji
Applied Areas: Old Manuscript Paper, Writing & Painting Paper, Printing Paper, Art Paper, High Glade Letter Paper, Cultural Property Conservation Paper, and Wrapping Paper.
Feature: Hanji made by the traditional method
Functional Hanji Wallpaper
Applied Areas: Wallpaper (Daktee, Mugwort, Green Tea, Red Clay, Jade, Charcoal, Clover, etc.)
Feature: Hanji made functional material.
Colored Hanji
Applied Areas: Craft Hanji, Writing & Painting Hanji
Feature: Dyed Hanji
Fashion and Craft Purposed Hanji
Aoplied Areas Hanji Shroud, Hanji Fashion, Belt & Wallet.
Feature: Hanji made by Jumchi (colloquialism of pocket) Technique.
Certification Hanji
Applied Areas: Certificate of Award, Approval, Petalization, Business Card.
Feature: Hanji made by Do Chi m method with Hap Ji
Applied Areas of Hanji
Packaging
Applied Areas: Packaging for Fruits, Vegetables, Rice, Mulching Paper, Food packaging, Value added agricultural products. /dd>
Feature: Eco friendly produce, Value added agricultural products.
Medical
Applied Areas: Antibacterial Paper, Sanitary Pad, Diaper, Plaster.
Feature: Eco friendly, Eco human body.
Industrial
Applied Areas: Filter, Insulating Paper, Condensing Paper, Gaskets.
Textile and Closing
Applied Areas: Hanji Thread, Socks, Woman Wear, Dress Shirt, Golf Wears, Bedding Wares.
Feature: Dak textile products.
Funeral
Applied Areas: Hanji Shroud, Hanji Ashes Preservation Container.
Hanji Applied Products
Applied Areas: Hanji Nano Textile, Bio Hanji Shirt, Hanji Disposable Cell Phone, Hanji Screen with Speaker function, Hanji Sticker that changes color by ripeness, Bio Censor, Hanji Semiconductor, Artificial Skin
Feature: Applicable Areas
Others
Applied Areas: Photographic Paper, Studying Aids (Dak Material)

Hanji Crafts

  • Hanji crafts can be classified to Jiseing, Jiho, Jiwha, Jiwha, Jeonji and other Hanji crafts by the production technique applied.
Jeonji Craft
Jeonji craft refers to the method that applying various shapes of patterns on color paper wrapped cast made by multiple layers, and one of Korean traditional culture. Jeonji craft refers to a craft made by pasting Hanji using scissors or graver. Actually, draw pattern on Hanji, cut out along the line by using scissor or graver, apply sheet of paper to pattern, decorate with 5 colored papers suite to the nature and apply finishing coat. In Jeonji craft, 5 color Jeonji and embossed carving Jeonji, crafts are representative craft. Color threads box, Color threads chup *(1), Wedding gift box, Jokduri (bride’s headpiece), Sewing kit box, and Donggori (wicker suitcase) are representative products. In a large scale, various boxes, Bedside drawer, Baby Closet, Beosun (traditional socks) drawer, Double drawer, Triple drawer and Wardrobe are the representative products.
*(1) Chup: Made with Hanji and used to store threads or pirce of cloth. Appears as a book, but has multiple sections inside when opened. It is characterized by being portable and can be folded in many layers. The outer surface often decorated with silk or colored paper.
Jiseung Craft
Jiseung craft refers to the method that making piece by weaving paper string in various methods and shapes, and also called as “Noyeokgae”. The letter Ji refers to paper and letter Seung refers to a word string. The term Yeokage of “Noyeokgae” has originated from the meaning of making a piece by weaving this string. In ancient times when paper was uncommon, wasted paper, generated after writing practice, often used to, be applied to windows and doors or, make household goods by using Jiseung method. In those household items goods made by Jiseung method, string bag, pencil case, basket, table, bedpan and clothing were made and used after varnishing with lacquer.
Jiho Craft
Jiho craft refers to the method that making piece by, tore paper (dak paper) into little pieces, macerate little pieces in water, knead well by mix with sweet rice starch, paste on bowl shaped mould, separate dried piece from the mold, and varnish a piece with lacquer or finish with painting. During the process, often perilla oil or soybean oil were added to prevent piece being damaged by insects. Sometime, applied colored papers and other decorations to make it fancy. However, this craft was mainly used to make household goods such box, container or gourd dipper and traditional masks. Jiho craft method was applied to make jars at the mountainous areas to put away village owned grains, and in modern days, paper dolls are made with Jiho craft method.
Jiwha Craft 1
Jiwha craft refers to the method that making piece by, dye Hanji with natural dyestuff, combine dyed Hanji in multiple layers, put a priming paper on a frame made with Paulownia tree or Oregon Pine tree, put dyed Hanji on a frame, and apply patterns such as folk paintings or arabesque, by using ink, paints or light coloring.
Jiwha Craft 2
Jiwha craft refers to the method that making paper flower to be used for 어사와, a decorated bier, folk games, royal events, buddhist culture and shamanism practice. Many kinds of paper flowers were used to decorate bier only 20 years ago, and paper flowers are still being used in modern days when perform “Gut” (Exorcism Practice).
Saekji Craft
Saekji craft refers to the method that making piece by, make a mould by putting multiple payers of Hanji together and apply various patterns to decorate. Dyed Hanji are used in colors of blue, red, white, black and yellow. This method has mainly used to make colored threads container, wedding gift box, Jokduri (bride’s headpiece) and Sewing kit box.
Jijang Craft
Jijang craft refers to the method that making piece by, make frame with bamboo tree, ordinary trees or link, and apply multiple layers of paper to inside and outside. Finish by applying soybean extract, persimmon tannin, painting, writing or varnishing with lacquer. This method has used to make paper drawer, file cabinet, arrow container, glass case, Donggori (wicker suitcase), paper jar and “Galmo” (rain cover for a hat).
Whoji Craft
Whoji craft refers to the method that making piece by putting multi layers of paper together. Make objects in various shapes by folding thick paper, and sometime not flat patterns were applied on a surface. Product made with this method can have a leather like texture, and used to make paper wallet and water jar.
Jumchi Craft
Unlikely other ordinary Hanji, paper made by Jumchi craft have steady air bubbles and embossing surface. There are a few relics are remained compare toother kinds and tobacco pouch, purse, wallet and brief case are representative products. In modern days, this method is widely being used to strengthen textile when making paper clothing or wallets.

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