What is washi tape?

January 11, 2020

What is washi tape?

The History of Washi Tapes

Most people have never heard of washi tapes and don’t have a clue what they are. So what exactly are washi tapes? They are decorative tapes created from rice paper. They come in a wide variety of colors and patterns and have multitudes of uses. They have grown increasingly popular especially for crafters, DIYers, and artists globally.

Where Did the Term "Washi" Come From?

The term washi comes from the words ‘Japanese Paper’. Washi Tape first originated from Japan from a masking tape company named Kamoi Kakoshi. In 2006, they received a request to beautify their masking tape selection from a group of women and with their joint efforts, more colors came into existence. The new product was released in 2008, and with media coverage taking over, more designs and patterns kept being produced. Now washi tape can be purchased all over the world. 

How is Washi Tape Made

Washi tape is made from traditional Japanese rice paper. It’s quite a meticulous process that starts with using different brands of Malaysian rubber. These rubber blocks get thinly sliced into pieces of  5 mm. Then comes the process of kneading the rubber and blended into a softer material. Heat is applied and a plastic resin is mixed in with the rubber. The glue is used for the tape backing and is applied once the rubber comes out of the dyeing machines. The rolls are then reeled up and ready to be delivered to the main factory for the finishing touches.  

What Can Washi Tapes Be Used For?

This product is so versatile, there are hundreds of ways you can use washi tape in your everyday life. It’s taken the DIY world to new heights with its endless possibilities. It’s very durable and flexible and comes in different colors, patterns and widths. Another great feature is that it rips easily and can be used on a number of surfaces without leaving any stickiness behind.

Get Creative with Washi Tapes

There are so many uses for washi tape that we can’t cover them all. You can use washi tape to accent your walls and create patterns around your doorways. You could also create artwork or designs on your walls. During the holidays, feel free to put up some seasonal wall art as it’s easy to remove once the season is over.  Some creative users even apply designs and patterns to their ceiling fans and windows. Not a fan of that plain old white lamp? Add some life and color to it by adding in some fun floral stripes.

You can also use washi tape to wrap things such as candles, water bottles, table lamps and more. Why not add some color or pattern to your laptop, journal or phone case or cover those boring fridge magnets with something that looks good instead. As you can see, the options are plentiful.

Use Washi Tape to Stay Organized

Washi tape is also great to help you get and stay organized. You could color-code your crafting bins, electronic cables, binders, books, journals, school supplies and more. We’ve even seen some creative women color code their computer keyboard with different colors and patterns.

Where Can You Buy Washi Tapes?

It’s inexpensive and can be purchased easily online or at craft stores near you.  Once you buy your first roll, you’ll surely become a fan and won’t stop there. With rolls starting from $3, you could start your collection with plenty of options. Thewashitapeshop.com has hundreds of designs and patterns ranging from some classic Van Gogh artwork to floral prints, to gold speckled patterns and more. 

Find the beautiful photos used on Instagram! Credits: 

  • @thewashitapeshop
  • @susanyeh312
  • @cold.bujo