Some members of the forums and mailing lists have undertaken a fairly
major project of trying to identify and review various papers, here
was the first one they have completed, covering elephant hide.
Date: Fri, 03 Dec 2010 08:04:53 +0200
From: Ilan <garibi@...
Subject: [Origami] Paper Review: Introduction and Elephant Hide
To: "'The Origami Mailing List'" <origami@...
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=windows-1255
Hi to all,
What have started with a simple question and a list of paper properties, has
become a project - a long exploration journey about paper.
Please enjoy our first Paper Review - by Ilan Garibi and Gadi Vishne.
It may be the most Asked Question, and yet no one suggest a complete and
total answer to it - what paper should I use (to fold that model)?
Truth to be said, we will not try to achieve a perfect solution. We will try
to build a foundation to this effort, and place few bricks based on our
common experience and the help of some colleagues.
In order to review a sheet of paper, one must first decide what the
properties of paper are. Then, with ?Hands on? experience, one must decide
their value or grade, from low to high (0 to 10). This value is not worst to
best since each model requires different qualities.?
Moreover, this is not enough. No point in reviewing Elephant Hide to
Miniature Unit Origami, or Foil to a wet fold. One should try and say what
it is good for - to be tessellated, or to fold insects? models - and then
only judge it.
There is no bad paper; there is only the wrong model.
Well, every complex model start with a valley fold, so here we start.
?? Paper as a material:
1. Thickness - in GSM. One cannot say "the thinner the better", if he plans
to wet fold, so there is no good or bad here, just pure data.
2. Size - how big can you get it? Smaller sizes can be achieved in any DIY
way you like, and for many the question is ?is it big enough??
3. Color palette - from narrow (as with Elephant Hide we have less than 10
options) to wide (100 colors set of Tant paper). The value is as simple as
the number of colors choices.
4. Texture - the feel and look of the surface: smooth, rough, alive, skin
like, shiny, etc. with two subcategories: Friction - for the use of Modular
origami; Transparency - for back-light Tessellations. This is an unvalued
5. Aging - span of life. We would love to know how many years our models
will stand firm and colorful. Alas, since we do not have life time
experience to support it by facts, a need for more inputs from readers
?? Paper as for folding:
6. Memory - how good it remembers a fold (where aluminum foil gets a value
of 10 and plastic bag get 0).
7. Forgiveness - the ability to "erase" a fold line, or to reverse it. Onion
Skin paper is very hard to reverse-fold, while Elephant Hide is very easy.
Scale will be from 0 to 10.
8. Strength - Tear and Wear; does it break up when refolded 3 or 4 times?
Where Elephant Hide gets lots of points, and Kami will get only 4. It may be
the number of times till it breaks, if we will have the patience to that
tedious test. The value will range from 0 to 10.
9. Tensile strength - some class of folding relies on the tension of the
paper to hold the shape, we will try to value that on a range from 0 to 10
(Thanks to David Whitbeck for adding that).
?? Bottom line:
10. Accessibility - Where to buy (please, do not expect a complete list
11. Bottom line - final score.
This is, of course, an open list, and additions to it are more than welcome.
To value a paper in its Origami sense, one must fold it. In this project,
each paper is examined by two folders. We will fold the same 6 models, out
of the presented list of Origami classes:
1. Traditional use - animals, mostly, but not only - it includes all
one-sheet classical 2D models. The most traditional model is the crane, of
course, folded from a 15X15 cm square.
2. Action model ? Barking Dog, by Gadi Vishne. Although it is simple model,
it demonstrates the properties of a paper in movement. Size defer by weight:
??? a. For heavy papers - 15cm.
??? b. For thin paper - 8cm.
3. Modular/Unit Origami - well, all the models that are based on tabs and
pockets, inserts and locks, and need more than one sheet to be created. two
models were chosen:
??? a. PowerPuff modular, by Ilan Garibi, made from 30 15X15 cm units.
??? b. Sonobe ball, made from 30 8X8 cm units.
4. Tessellation - one sheet, repeated pattern. Two models were chosen:
??? a. Pineapple tessellation, by Ilan Garibi, from a 70X70 cm paper, for
complex folding and multi layers.
??? b. Mystery tessellation by Ilan Garibi, from a 70 X70 cm paper, to see
transparency and surface behavior.
5. Complex - insect, ancient dragons, 100 plus stages of folds, entry paper
size - 25X25 cm. This model must examine multiple layer folds and some
sinks. The chosen model is the Pegasus, by Satoshi Kamiya, from 2-3 sizes of
paper - 25X25 cm (the recommended size), 35X35 cm and (if needed) 45X45 cm.
6. 3D models and Wet Fold - wet folded or not, these include intermediate to
high models, which have full body, and can stand on their feet. We have
chosen Fox Terrier by Francisco Javier Caboblanco (20X20 cm) and Eric Joisel
variation of the Crane or his Rat.
The list is neither a final nor a closed one. We will allow ourselves to
divert from it according to the paper specific needs and characteristics. We
know there are a lot of sub categories to add to this list, as Flowers,
Jewelry, toys and more, so if needed, specific relevant paper type reviews
will relate to those, too, in the ?What is it good for? section.
Review of Elephant Hide (EH):
Made in Germany, by Zanders? (http://www.zanders.com/)
, it may be crowned as
King of Paper.? I tried to get some information on the process and
ingredients of this paper, but this is privileged information and won?t be
shared by the manufacture. Its Data Sheet says ?Elephant hide is a rugged
bookbinding paper with a parchment grain which can be used as a book
covering paper or for making certificates. It is impregnated and therefore
scratch and abrasion resistant, dirt repellent, can be wiped clean
(wet-strength paper), has limited expansion and shrinkage and is not
sensitive to acid. In addition, it is tear resistant and wrinkle and fold
resistant as well as color-fast and lightfast.? can we ask for more? It got
the FSC certificate, so you are helping to save forests by buying it. More
than that, each sheet is unique, no two sheets are alike.
Discovered by origamists, it became very popular among them. Here are the
1. Thickness - today EH comes in 2 options, 110 GSM and 190 GSM. This review
will focus on the 110 GSM only. Although it is a heavy paper (we regard 100
GSM as the border line), it is easy to fold and handle.
2. Sizes - once again, only two options here: 700X1000mm, and A4. There is
no square option, since it is not Origami-related paper. Of course, one can
cut any size and shape from 700X1000, but it is a tedious job to prepare 60
identical units for a modular model.
3. Colors - The palette is very limited - only 7 colors are listed on the
site of the manufacture today (3 Dec 2010): White, high White, Ivory, light
Brown, light Grey, Charcoal, and Black. On Modulor there are 10 colors, but
out of those ten, the two most colorful ones (Dark Blue and Dark Green) are
available only at A4 size. In the past there was a bigger variety and I have
in my personal stock 14 shades, among them the red and blue which are out of
print. The future is no better - after checking with the manufacture, there
is no plan to widen the options, and there is no knowledge if there is any
stock of the obsolete colors in the official distributors. If one would like
to have a special order, it can be done in any color, size and weight
wanted, with a minimal order of 5 tons (equal to 64,935 sheets of 700X1000
or 727,273 of A4).
See the color palette here:
4. Texture - smooth, since the paper is laminated; the color is not
homogeneous, and has a beautiful marble-like texture. There is a slight,
hard to see, difference between the two sides, one of them is a bit more
reflective. Every sheet is different. Beside the Black, all colors are
transparent to light in some degree. Best for that are the Whites and the
light Brown, both have a great effect while back-lighted. Grey and Black are
hardly transparent, if at all.
5.? Aging - without acid, and with the special treatment this paper goes
through, time flows slowly near this paper. I have few models that are 2
years old - and they look just as new. The manufacture is proud at this
product durability. Do remember it is used for book binding, which meant to
last. I have started a fading test, exposing half a tessellation to the
Israeli sun, to see the effect of time on the grey color. A month after
there is no visible line between the exposed half and the covered one.
6. Memory - perfect score here. You make a crease, and it stays, seems
forever. The creases are sharp, and unfolded creases will create a long bump
in the paper, easy to feel by touch. 10 out of 10!
7. Forgiveness - Reversing a fold is easy as tearing up a tissue paper, if
you go with the grains. It is a bit harder at a perpendicular angle. To err
is human, and to forgive - divine. If a crease is done a mere millimeter
from place, one can easily create a new one in the right place, and even
uncrease the first one with a determined fingernail. Score here is 7 out of
8. Strength - this paper is made to last. Bend it, force it, stretch it,
reverse it, and again, and there is no visible sign of fatigue. To check the
strength I used a Reverse Fold test - reverse a mountain fold to a valley,
and repeat again and again, using fingernails for a sharp crease. At 90
times it got ripples. At 200 times I almost said enough. At 300 times my son
got impatient with my repetitive movements, snapped it and tear it away...
For comparison, a Kami was rippled after 9 times and tear apart at 27 times.
10 out of 10!
9. Tear and Wear - if you do have a tiny tear in the paper, there is no need
to be alarmed. It won?t spread easily, the paper is enhanced in some way and
it seems to be tearing resistant. If it does happen, the fibers can hardly
be seen at the torn edge.
10. Tensile strength - this may be a sub category of strength, and it is
valued just the same. Curved crease are held beautifully, as seen in the
11. Where to buy -
??? a. Modulor (Europe, Germany) have a nice site, easy to handle and
??? b. You can get 6 of the colors at Kim`s Crane (USA) internet shop
, with 8 sheets limit per order.
??? c. Paper Jade sells the same color palette.
??? d. There are some in Singapore in Fancy Paper, but go to the warehouse
to get 700X1000 size (No. 120 Genting Lane, Tel: 6748 1268)
??? e. In the UK there is Shepherds. See it here: http://www.falkiners.com/
1. Traditional use - The Crane from a 15X15 cm square. It was fun to fold.
The weight of the paper requires accurate fold, otherwise the beak is not
sharp as it should.
See the image here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/garibiilan/5228420798/
2. Action model ? Barking Dog, by Gadi Vishne. 15cm. This paper gave me the
best result I (Gadi) ever got with this model. I refold it several times,
gave it to my 4 years kid, and it still moves very easily. The only
complaint against this paper is the colors. With this ?both sides same
color? paper, I had to paint the paper to get different color for the nose.
I also tried the traditional flapping bird. It is the best paper for this
model! Folds easily, move symmetrically and won?t tear even if I pull it
See the Image here:
And the Video:
3. Modular/Unit Origami -
?? a. PowerPuff modular, by Ilan Garibi, made from 30 14X14 cm units -
having to cut it by yourself is a major drawback. I (Ilan) cut it to 14X14
to fit 5 units in the 70 cm length of the sheet. Folding 30 units with such
a heavy paper asked for strong finger pressure, but the final result is
superb. Friction is just enough and the tensile strength is excellent,
especially with the puffing part of the PowerPuff unit. The final model is
very stable and strong. Note that this models lock is not based on friction
but on pressure.
See the image here:
?? b. Modular/Unit Origami ? 6 units, 5x5cm. Unknown cube. I (Gadi) saw a
few weeks ago. This paper is very smooth. The cube breaks into pieces too
easily. A modular folded from this paper, must have good lock between the
units or a very tight pocket.
See the image here:
4. Tessellation - Pineapple and Mystery tessellation, by Ilan Garibi, from a
70X70 cm paper - this paper is made for tessellators. Folding the grid makes
a very accurate one, although the paper is a bit hard to fold in
perpendicular to the grains. Reversing a fold [I (Ilan) make my grid by
matching every two adjacent creases to create the fold between them, which
needs a lot of reversing the folds] is quite easy, and the paper tends to
?break? on the right place with a bit of pressure.? Pre folding is very
clean, where short fold lines do not affect the surrounding surface, so the
final result is uncontaminated. Strength is another strong point, no tearing
or weakening points, no fibers are showing in the corners.
For the Mystery model, with the light brown, the back light made a great
5. Complex - Pegasus, by Satoshi Kamiya, from 2 sizes of paper -
??? a. 35X35 cm - The pre-crease was excellent. The final steps hardly
folded. The final model was so wide that it couldn?t stand on three legs as
it should. I (Gadi) put the poor Pegasus into a clamp for a night and closed
it very tight. This paper is not willing to torn! After the night it could
stand on three legs. Although the folds hold very good and the final model
look nice, I strongly recommend using thinner paper for complex models.
Before : http://www.flickr.com/photos/garibiilan/5200984593/in/photostream/
In clamp: http://www.flickr.com/photos/garibiilan/5200985031/in/photostream/
In tight clamp:
(no real Pegasus where heart in this fold)
??? b. 45X45 cm - being the inexperienced one with complex models, I (Ilan)
happily choose the biggest size. Even so, it was a fight! The paper is too
thick for this model, even at an almost double size than recommended. I
couldn?t fold the last stages, finalizing the small details, or even to bend
the front leg, as shown in stage 92. The body is fat, maybe too fat, and
some glue is needed to hold it together. Nevertheless, the final result is
beautiful. The Pegasus stand still, wings held up high, in a majestic pose.
6. 3D models - Rat by Joisel, (25X25) and Fox Terrier by Francisco Javier
Caboblanco (20X20). The Rat mixed straight lines with curved model. In this
section the focus is on the 3D and curves. To shape the tail I (Gadi) tied
it in a wet rag and let it dry curved. The result was nice curved tail. The
ears shaped easily by pinching them in the center. Here the strength of the
paper was an advantage. It helped to make it rounded.
7. For wet folding, I wet a 20cm square and got a small effect on the
proportions. Nevertheless the Fox Terrier didn?t suffer from it too much. At
the end the model was nice and stable. The paper holds the exact amount of
water I needed. I didn?t have to re-wet it in the middle of the folding, and
didn?t need to wait for it to get dry at the end.
What is it good for? For traditional use, it seems a bit of a blasphemy. For
tessellations it is no less than perfect, as for 3D models, wet folded or
not. With complex model you should not consider EH as your first choice, and
if you do, prepare for a struggle, with an amazing possible result. If you
have the time and patience for cutting your paper for Modular Origami, EH is
great, with a very strong and stable result but not for models that are
connected based on friction! This paper is the best for action models ?
strong, hold the creases nicely, and it is not going to torn even in small
kid hands (tested on Gadi?s 4 years old boy).
Beginner shouldn?t use this paper ? It is too heavy.
How is it used by the Origami community? Going through Flickr search engine
after EH images, the vast majority (90%) is tessellations. The other 10% are
masks and 3D animals, mostly high to intermediate level (and the common one
is, no surprise here, elephant!). In 749 images there are less than 10
images of complex models.
Bottom line - must buy and experience. Full satisfaction guarantee!
See our summarizing table here:
Our next review will present Tant paper. More to come are Silk/Foil,
wrapping paper (40 GSM) by Kraft, Onion Skin paper, Kami and more.
Please write your comments and feedback directly to us:
Ilan Garibi - garibiilan@...
Gadi Vishne - gadi@...
Thanks to Herman Mariano, Larry Hart, Dennis Walker, Jasun Ku and Andrew
Hudson for helping writing and editing this article.