Rice paper is a unique gift that can be appreciated by anyone with a love of fine goods, the written word or creative expression. The term refers to papers made from rice flour, straw or other parts of the rice plant. Rice papers can also be made from bamboo, mulberry or hemp and has been used throughout history in Japan, Korea, Vietnam and China for artwork and writing.
The paper is often made from a small tree called the rice paper plant. The tree grows in Taiwan’s swampy forests and is also grown as an ornamental plant prized for its exotic leaves. Production of the paper involves boiling the plant’s boughs to free them from the park, then rolling the pith on a flat surface and cutting into thin sheets of paper.
Rice paper can be dyed in a range of colors or kept white to use for watercolor paintings. The paper often has a rough texture that looks natural but often makes writing difficult.
Mulberry paper is also in the rice paper family, even though it is not made from the rice paper plant. This type of rice paper is smoother, making it more appropriate for writing, paper screens and calligraphy.