Washi (Japanese Paper)

To protect against deterioration over time, the Japanese paper Usami Shutokudo uses for restore and picture mounting is made from high-quality materials by skillful paper-making artisans.
Because we have so much experience using different kinds of Japanese paper, when we ask ourselves "Which paper made from which materials and processes should we use?", it is easy for us to carefully investigate and select the best choice.
The Japanese paper we use for mounting differs depending on the mounting process. "Usuminogami" is used for the end leaves of books. "Misugami" is used for adjusting the thickness of the paper or silk mounting. "Utagami" is used for the final stage of lining, and "Sekishuushi" is used for the foundations of furnishings. When we repair damage to ancient documents, we need to use the right restoration paper. We don't just use new paper that looks similar to the old paper, but we also use restoration paper that has the same feel and is made from the same materials as the original.
All of our Japanese paper is made from traditional paper-making techniques for the sake of preserving Oriental artwork.

Brocade Silks

When we choose the silk for mounting an artwork, we select one that both harmonizes with, and highlights the beauty of the artwork. We don't just look at the colour schemes and textures when mounting the artwork, we also consider the theme of the artwork when choosing matching brocade silks. Should time and circumstances permit, we will even take into consideration the mood of the place where it will be hung when selecting the silks.
Because the famous textile production area of Nishijin is located in Kyoto near us, we are able to select from the finest quality brocades, gold brocades and damask silks. Because we are meticulous about the harmony of the silk and the artwork, we frequently make special orders of silks with a certain pattern or colour scheme. We work very hard to select the best mounting silks to match your artwork.



Wheat Starch Paste

When mounting pictures, we use a paste made from boiling wheat starch called "Shoufunori". It is difficult to make because we must consider the heat of the fire, the amount of water, the season and humidity level of the day when we make it. We call the type of paste that is put into a jar to ferment for 10 years "Furunori". We can make fresh paste and use it any day, but "Furunori" can only be made once a year during a very cold period, and then must be taken care of for 10 years while it ferments. Fresh glue has a strong bond strength, whereas "Furunori" is very weak, and is used specially during the mounting or mending process.