Posted By Thomas L. Buck

I just received a request to do a wakizashi tsuka using paper ito.  If you are not familiar with this type of maki, basically paper is applied much like regular ito, but then it is heavily lacquered. 

In some ways this medium is more dynamic than cloth, and allows for more stunning effects throuch sculpting and shaping. Often times the lacquered paper is mistaken for lacquered leather.  Here are three examples of older tsuka that were done in paper:

paper ito

paper ito

paper ito

Once lacquered, the ito is surprisingly durable and water resistant.  Here is what the paper ito looks like before being lacquered:

paper ito

I did a few sketches, and used a number of blog pics to put together a quick set of instructions on how to make the paper ito at:

3 Comment(s):
Roman said...
Thank you very much, Mr. Buck! You don't know how I've been waiting for your answer. Just as I expected, paper ito is maked just like leather ito. However, paper ito is too thin for comfort work with it! especially if it's made of rise paper(I thought it's most authentic)and it tears too easily. The first time I made paper ito by myself I, used another way of making ito: 1)I made strips that four times the width of needed ito. 2)glued strips together just as you told. 3)I folded strips just as for making hishi-gami, 3 times lengthwise and glued it. Is this way of making paper ito wrong? What's it's problem? and what's with those ito: ? I'm pretty shure it's made some other way and I have no ideas of it.
July 26, 2009 02:16:17 PM
Tom Buck said...
Roman, I did a few sketches, and used a number of blog pics, to put together a quick set of instructions on how to make the paper ito, at: "" I hope this helps.
July 24, 2009 02:27:58 PM
Roman said...
How do you make paper ito(I mean type of paper, way of layering it)? And do you use hishi-gami with it? It's really interesting theme for me because it appears that I really mistaken paper with leather couple of times.
July 21, 2009 04:31:25 PM
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Thomas L. Bu...
Duluth, MN

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