Posts tagged “Paper Yarn”.

Crochet Paper Yarn – Merino Wool Necklace by zsazsazsu

PaperPhine presents: Zsazsazsu Crochet Necklace made of PaperYarn and Wool

Sandra, who is behind the fine blog and Etsy shop zsazsazsu put all her heart and skills into handmade crochet jewelry. As she puts it herself it all started when she saw a woman wearing a beautiful necklace some years back, inquired about the piece and soon found herself immersed in colors and structures – and in her own workshop.

PaperPhine presents: Zsazsazsu Crochet Necklace made of PaperYarn and Wool

PaperPhine presents: Zsazsazsu Crochet Necklace made of PaperYarn and Wool

In all of Sandra’s jewelry pieces her love for colors is reflected and her amazing crochet skills can be seen. But it’s also obvious that she loves to work with more unusual materials like our paper yarns and seemingly effortlessly incorporates unusual finds like coins and stones into her work.

PaperPhine presents: Zsazsazsu Crochet Necklace made of PaperYarn and Wool

PaperPhine presents: zsazsazsu's paper yarn and wool necklace

For this beautiful red necklace Sandra combined fine, soft red merino yarn with our slightly stiffer finest paper yarn in natural to give the piece more texture. The necklace was crocheted in loops with a crochet hook (thread hook / EU 0.75 / US 13 / UK 5 or 6) over a fine steel cable – and with lots of patience!

Btw, this necklace can be bought here – it’s one-of-a-kind so if it’s sold it’s sold.



Woodnotes: Containers

Woodnotes: Purses

Containers and purses by Woodnotes made entirely of Paper Yarn.

Paper yarns and twines have largely disappeared as a material for interior textiles since the Mid 20th-century. One really noteworthy exception is the Finnish design company Woodnotes that has specialised in the development and working of spun paper yarn, which is used as material in the production of all Woodnotes products. Woodnotes’ designs have won numerous awards and make design loving people craving for one of their simple yet stylish carpets, pieces of furniture or more affordable accessoires. Like these containers… they are just too beautiful and thanks to the stiffness of paper yarn they really keep standing upright no matter what (I tested it… though they look best empty anyway).

Woodnotes: Lounge Chair
ROO Lounge Chair by Woodnotes. The upholstery fabris is made of 70 % paper yarn and 30% cotton.

Woodnotes was founded in 1987 by textile designer Ritva Puotila and her son Mikko Puotila. Ritva Puotila is still responsible for most of the Woodnotes’ designs though the company works together with other designers, too, who are beautifully portraited on the company’s homepage. Puotila says that paper has properties that differ fundamentally from the other fibres she uses: its lightness and rustling, its clean natural colour when unbleached, its whiteness and the glow of colour.

Woodnotes: Carpets
Woodnotes: Blinds
Carpets and blinds by Woodnotes made either entirely of paper yarn or in combination with cotton and wool.

Though Woodnotes has produced a wide range of textiles from the very beginning I consider their carpets to be one of their “staple products”. People tend to underestimate the hard-wearing qualities and durability of paper yarns since we have come to think of paper as a very short-living and disposable material. Long gone are the times when paper was considered to be “white gold”… though Woodnotes is truly working on a new level of appreciation for this material.

So why is there a Finnish company making wonderful products out of paper yarns that have nearly vanished from the rest of the world? While paper yarn was a valuable raw material up to and during the two World Wars when other fibres were scarce paper yarn quickly disappeared when the state of affairs started to go back to “normal” after the wars. Finnland on the other hand long struggled for independence from both Sweden and Russia. So even though it became an independent nation in 1948 the Finns had to pay large reparations to the USSR for years to come. Sending most of their raw valuable materials – including textile fibres – to their neighbours the Finns were stuck with the “poor material” paper that they could keep. Finnish designers began to experiment and work with this paper and paper yarns and often designers produced their designs in their own workshops or let them be produced by bigger companies. Especially textile designers helped finding and shaping the Finnish identity at that time, one of the most important ones being DORA JUNG.
So it’s certainly no coincidency that Woodnotes is a based in Finnland…

All pictures in this blog post are from the website of Woodnotes.


Cardboard Heaven and PaperPhine at the KABINE

Cardboard Heaven by Nina Lindgren

Not that there weren’t enough interesting things out there to discover, fall in love with and to write about, like the CARBOARD HEAVEN by Nina Lindgren pictured above. As you can see it’s not only possible to build furniture out of cardboard as discussed earlier but also heaven…

Made by PaperPhine: Twisting Necklace
Made by PaperPhine: Twisting Paper Yarn Necklace – to be seen next week at the KABINE

But currently everybody at PaperPhine is preparing a little presentation at the KABINE in Vienna (Austria) that will start next Tuesday. It’ll be a great opportunity to see PaperPhine’s Paper Yarn Jewelry as well as paper art and paper goodies by Regina Wiklicky, Carin Fürst, PAPIERPIRATEN, TÄT-TAT and Katharina Weissensteiner.

And in case you intend to visit Vienna before Christmas this year we recommend the KABINE not only for our own little “contribution” but also for general Christmas gift shopping and a carefully chosen and mainly locally made selection of designer goodies. Oh, and the breakfast around the corner at Karmelitermarkt is really great, too!

KABINE, Karmelitergasse 6, 1020 Vienna
Tuesday – Friday 11.00-18.00, Saturday 10.00-13.00
Opening of “PAPER” on Tuesday, October 19, 2010: 16.00-21.00


Made by PaperPhine: Seeing the Blues

Made by PaperPhine: Paper Twines in Blue
Seeing the Blues in my studio and also in my etsy store with this selection of Paper Twines in Blues.

Seeing some blue sky was more of a problem lately so I guess it can’t be denied anymore that summer is probably over for this year. On the other hand autumn can be very beautiful, too (and I’m a big fan of white winter anyway). But at least the weather keept me indoor in my studio to work even more – and the studio turned a bit blue…

Made by PaperPhine: Superthick Paper Yarn
New Superthick Paper Twine in Blue and in Blue-Gray as well as in White.

Superthick Paper Twine in Blue (thick enough to qualify as Paper Rush but a bit softer then real Paper Rush) as well as in Blue-Gray are available from now on. Perfect to add a little something to your gift wrappings or paper projects. And if you can’t decide what Blue is the perfect one there is also the selection of “The Blues” of Paper Twine.

Made by PaperPhine: Paper Yarn Ring in Blue-Gray with Silvery dots
Made by PaperPhine: Paper Yarn Ring in Blue-Gray with silvery Dots

And what to do with all these wonderful yarns… well, putting together your own very personal piece of jewelry like PaperPhine’s Spiky Ring in Pigeon Gray with Silvery Dots is one option – and there are many more, no questions about that!


Textile Artist Grethe Wittrock

Grethe Wittrock: Heart Blood, 2003
Grethe Wittrock: Heart Blood, 2003
Grethe Wittrock: Heart Blood, 2003. Walhanging, dyed paper-yarn in 6 red colours/some lacquered, knotted on steelplate, 140 x 120 cm.

A very inspiring textile artist who has been working with paper yarns among other materials for years is Grethe Wittrock. I think her work shows the strength of the material especially in her wallhangings where single pieces of yarn that are fragile by themselves are combined to form bold statements.

Grethe Wittrock: Amulett I
Grethe Wittrock: Amulett I, 2007
Grethe Wittrock: Amulett I, 2007. Walhanging.

After an initial training as a weaver Grethe Wittrock travelled to Japan where she became fascinated by the Japanese paper tradition. She not only learned Japanese printing and paper making techniques but she also met a paper yarn spinner in Kyoto and took back a whole load of paper yarns to Denmark – I think this could be called fate.

Grethe Wittrock and Ann Christensen: Project Papermoon

Grethe Wittrock and Ann Schmidt-Christensen: Project Papermoon
Grete Wittrock and Ann Schmidt-Christensen: Kimono, 1993, Collection 1. The First Collection by Project Papermoon. Japanese paper-yarn handwoven in pique technique and point stitched. Kimono is a unique masterpiece from The Project Papermoon

Grete Wittrock and Ann Schmidt-Christensen: Jeune Couture Collection 1999. The Horse, 1999. Jeune Couture Collection by Project Papermoon. Japanese glass-paper-yarn handwoven in form and geometrically cut. Silkscreen printed.

1993 Grethe Wittwock and fashion designer Ann Schmidt-Christensen started The Project Papermoon resulting in fascinating pieces of clothing that shift between functional and purely aestectic objects. The pleating and folding of these garments bring to mind the creations of the Japanese fashion designer Issey Miyake whom Grethe Wittrock also names as an artist who has influenced her work.

Grethe Wittrock: Nordic Wind
Grethe Wittrock: Limegrass and Nordic Wind
Grethe Wittrock: Lime Grass and Nordic Wind, 2007. Walhanging.

To learn about more about Grethe Wittrock I recommend to not only visit her website but to also read the interview with her that for some reason is called “Embroidery Article“.


Industrially Made Paper Yarns – A Short History

PaperPhine's Strong Natural Paper Yarn on a Vintage Bobbin
PaperPhine’s Strong Natural Paper Yarn on a Vintage Bobbin – available online

The first technology to industrially produce paper yarns were developed in the late 19th century in Germany. Even though the processes have been refined over the time the initial technology is still in use today.

Cellulose Fibres under the Microscope
Cellulose fibres under the microsope. This is the raw material for a lot of paper yarns even though the fibres are not always as finely dissolved and “separated” as shown on this picture.

The paper used for making yarns (so-called spinning papers or Spinnpapiere) has to have long fibres therefore sulphate-papers (Sulfatpapiere) were mostly used. In those papers the cellulose fibres are not completly dissolved therefore the paper is stronger. The thickness of spinning papers can vary – the thinnest are like tissue paper, the thicker ones like thin printing paper. The thickness of the paper together with the breadth of the paper strips later determines the thickness of the paper yarn.

Cutter for fine Strips of Paper for the Paper Yarn Production
In the early 20th century there were still quite a few companies suppling the paper yarn industry with the necessary machines. This advert is for a German Paper-Strip-Cutter patented by Ferd. Emil Jagenberg.

In the early times of paper yarn production it was common that fine strips of paper were made with the help of special devices on the paper machine instead of cutting the paper later on. Up to about 1910 this kind of paper yarns were widely used and sought-after as an important subsitute for other yarns. Then the other variety – paper yarns spun out of dry-cut paper strips – became popular before disappearing into nearly complete oblivion in the 1950s.

During the years of the second World War it was also common to combine the paper with other materials. For these yarns (Textilosegarne) that were a necessity due to the lack of proper and sufficient raw materials, a fine layer of linen-, cotton- or flaxfibres was glued onto the paper before it was cut and spun. To my knowledge these yarns aren’t produced anywhere anymore.

PaperPhine’s Selection of Colored Paper Yarns in Reds and Yellow – available since today!

Today there are only very few paper yarn spinneries left in Europe that spin paper yarns out of rolls of papers coming from the big paper factories. Thicker yarns are then partially delivered to the dyeing mills where they are labouriously dyed. The thinnest yarns stay in the original color that is either white or a natural-brown.

The promised Short History of Handmade Shifu is not forgotten, only postponed a little. Also a description of the cutting- and spinning-process of industrial paper yarns is in work (too many interesting facts to collect and too little time, sorry). This is just a short summary of the whole history and development of industrial paper yarns. Due to its importance at certain times there are quite a few processes that were used etc. so the whole history is quite complex.

Most of my reference material is in German, therefore you find some German technical expressions in the text. If you have or know of reference materials in English or French I would be really grateful if you could get in touch with me, thanks!


PaperPhine: Tiny Summer News

Paper Yarn Spikes for a new Paper Necklace by PaperPhine
Paper Yarn “Spikes” for a new Purely White Paper Yarn Necklace

I have heard of blogger’s mothers who turn up at their child’s doorstep with a bowl of chicken soup asuming that their child was seriously ill – because there hadn’t been any new blog entries for a while. My Mum on the other hand asked me today if I wasn’t working because my last entry was a while ago. Actually I’m working so much that I couldn’t find the time to finish the article on the History of Shifu (Japanese Paper Yarn) I started quite a while ago.

PaperPhine's Paper Yarn in a design by Maria
A first structure with Paper Yarn by Maria

Even though I’m enjoying a residency in the lovely Southern part of Austria with mountains and lakes just in front of my studio (a lot better than getting a heat stroke in Vienna!) I’m struggling to cope with all the “social responsibilities” a visiting artist has – and of course there is work to do as well! Currently I’m infecting the local artists and craftsmen and craftswomen with the paper-yarn-virus that is very contagious anyway. Above is a first structure by the local designer Maria whose focus usually lies in woodwork and sewing – yes, quite a combination and interesting the stiffness of paper yarn seems to appeal a lot to her.

New colored Paper Yarns by PaperPhine
My new lovely Paper Yarns in a lot of wonderful Colors

There is also a new delivery of beautiful colored paper yarns to sort through and if I don’t get carried away and lost in a lot of new projects they will be available in my etsy store next week.

If you read my finally finished article on the History of Shifu this weekend it won’t mean that somebody stopped by with some chicken soup but rather that I’ll be on holiday in a different part of Austria and will have the time to finish the piece (so don’t worry, Mum!).


PaperPhine’s Nordic Wholesale Agent: Stjernestunder

PaperPhine's Nordic Wholesale Agent: Stjernestunder
Stjernestunder’s Homepage: Paperphine section

During the last two months PaperPhine has kept me very busy and a lot of emails have been “flying” from and to Copenhagen. It all started when Helle, who is behind Stjernestunder asked me earlier this spring if I was interested in her becoming my wholsale agent for the Nordic countries. And of course I was interested!

PaperPhine's Wholesale Collection for Stjernestunder
Part of the PaperPhine Wholesale Collection represented by Stjernestunder

Together Helle and I chose a collection of my Paper Yarn Jewelry that she will represent as my wholesale agent in all the Nordic countries. And then we had to work on the pictures, site layout, contract, samples, etc. – so we both spent days and nights in front of our laptops and worktables.
Helle will also represent my collection at this autumn’s formland trade fair in Herning (Jutland), 20. – 23. August 2010. You’ll find both Helle’s products and my Paper Yarn Jewelry at D3216.

Folded Paper Stars by Stjernestunder
Stjernestunder’s Folded Paper Stars

Helle and her family team behind Stjernestunder fold stars, hearts, baskets, prisms, freestyles and cones in many variations of paper, plastics and fabrics. I like especially their small paper stars guirlandes in subtle hues (oh, and they will look perfect in my boyfriend’s appartement this Christmas. Hopefully they’ll fit in so perfectly that he’ll not even notice them so his “manly” dislike of all kinds of decoration doesn’t boil up…).


Paper (Yarn) Jewelry by Ana Hagopian

PaperPhine: Jewelry by Hagopian: Bracelet Coral
Contemporary Jewelry by Ana Hagopian: Coral Bracelet

I came across Ana Hagopian’s fabulous website with her awsome jewelry a while ago. To mention it explicitly: I do like the straightforward design of her website (if only it wasn’t all Flash!). And I like Anas use of different materials – a lot of paper and some handmade paper yarns – to make her range of contemporary jewelry.

PaperPhine: Jewelry by Hagopian: Ring Accordeon
Contemporary Jewelry by Ana Hagopian: Acordeon Ring

Even though the Acordeon Ring (and Acordeon Bracelet, not shown) aren’t made of paper yarn but “only” paper I really love them. Those vivid colors and sculpture-like form – great!

Being originally from Argentina, Ana Hagopian is based in Barcelona where she lives in her “universe” of color, texture and form. I’m also impressed by her varied knowledge of techniques she uses for her pieces. She has travelled widely so I guess that she also time to pick up ideas abroad.

PaperPhine: Jewelry by Hagopian: Necklace Coral
Contemporary Jewelry by Ana Hagopian: Coral Necklace

PaperPhine: Jewelry by Hagopian: Necklace Anemona
Contemporary Jewelry by Ana Hagopian: Anemona Necklace

There are just too many fine pieces of jewelry on Ana Hagopian’s website – so I can only suggest you go and have a look for yourself!


Paper Yarn Necklace by Maisy and Alice

Paper Yarn Necklace by MaisyandAlice

I’m always thrilled when I discover Paper Yarn jewelry by artists I haven’t seen (or met) before. This flowery Octavia Paper Yarn Necklace was made by Jill of Maisy and Alice who discovered the paper yarn on one of her hunting trips for vintage linen cord. Jill says that she fell in love with her new material what I understand completely. And her worries not to find more of the material are something I can help with, too. Judging by the look of the Octavia Paper Yarn Necklace the strong white paper yarn in my etsy store would be perfect for Jill’s work. I’m happy to wait and see more of those lovely Australian flowers!