Nepalese Lokta Paper and its significance.
Nepalese Lokta Paper is made from one of the longest and strongest natural fibre of the inner bark of a high-altitude shrub Daphne. This shrub is called lokta in Nepali and lokta paper (also generalized as Nepali paper) and has been a staple of Nepalese artisans for centuries.
Most of the production of this paper happens in rural areas by Nepalese rural entrepreneurs. It is also one of the main exports of Nepal, helping the export industry of the country grow considerably.
Lokta has been around in Nepalese culture and history for around 1500 years. The oldest historical scripts of the country have been found to be written in this paper. This paper has a unique texture and its extreme durability has helped it be of great utility for government offices to keep legal documentations and this culture is seemed to have been sticking around since the lichhavi period (400-750 AD) keeping up with manuscripts of historical Nepal.
It is widely used as incense, visiting cards, festival decorations, greeting cards, note books, calendars, lamp shades, envelops, as it is easy to dye and is very soft. Virtually, anything can be made from paper, from toys to fashion garments; limited by the imagination. Similarly, handicrafts made from lokta paper are among the best handicrafts found in the Nepalese market and the diaries and the lamps are so beautiful you can’t not-buy them when you see them. With the rough texture of the paper, it is the best option available when it comes to making handicrafts.
Having no to little characteristic smell and being lightweight, it has made its place in most of Nepalese bags and office documents. Being someone who loves writing and reading, the lokta paper diaries are among the best possessions you could own and also show off.
Good news for the conservationists, it is a perfect eco-friendly paper which doesn’t harm the trees biologically as it is made by harvesting the bark only, without affecting the tree. So lokta paper crafts are the perfect gift option you can think of for a loved one, from greeting cards to diaries to lampshades and whatnot, it would never fail to make an impression.
You can get the paper as well as products made out of Lokta Paper Internationally at Himalayan Merchandise, your one stop for such holy grail products.