Just like the cream-colored masking tape found in most households, washi tape is made of paper. Unlike ordinary masking tape, however, genuine washi tape is tougher and cannot easily be torn by hand.
Why do I say “genuine” washi tape? Well, if you’ve read the history of washi, you’d know that it is made by hand and the process is labor intensive. Washi is on UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
If commercial washi tapes sold in craft stores were made with real washi, the cost would be prohibitive. Do a test yourself. If you’ve worked with washi paper before, you’d know that it tears more like tough tissue than paper. If the washi tape you bought from the crafts store tears like ordinary masking tape, then, you have to ask: Is it ordinary masking tape that had been colored or printed with designs then sold commercially as washi tape?
I don’t know the answer to that question. I’m not complaining either. I’m just saying. I love what the crafting world calls “washi tape” and I love that the price is so affordable that having a dozen or two rolls in stock won’t break the bank. Perhaps, there are genuine washi tapes out there in the market and there are cheaper copycat versions. As far as I know, the ones I bought were made not in Japan but in China.
Wherever their manufacturing origin and whatever their level of genuineness, I love my washi tapes to pieces. And I’m starting to grow a collection. Some have solid colors while others have prints and geometric patters. I love them all.
For this year’s Christmas decor, I used washi tape to adorn origami angels that we’re going to hang on a DIY Christmas tree. But Christmas, of course, is not the only occasion to use washi tape. You don’t even need an occasion to make crafts using washi tape. You only need a hunger to express creativity. So, yes, expect more crafts with washi tape in the future. It’s not even Christmas yet but I’m already thinking of Valentine’s Day and Easter.