The Source | Bombay Paperie

Walk in to gape at the massive antique wooden table right in the centre with all paper products on display – as if it were an island on its own; stacks of paper lined on the sides and graded by colour – as if gazing at a rainbow so near;  colonial architecture holding various exhibits of paper and paper products – as if to belong together; further in (by this time I have already decided my favourite spot) to the back and then to the corner is a dedicated section flaunting images of the craftsmen at the mill, their work in progress and a showcase of the different processes in the making of the paper – as if inside a museum making a connection felt through the story they are trying to tell —- Bombay Paperie – where paper is made without cutting trees and sold planting just love.

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Ermm…..paper made WITHOUT cutting trees?!?!?! I somehow didn’t know of such a possibility….. Nonetheless this whole revolutionary trend and transition towards opting for all things organic and hand-made is very inspiring and we are glad some people are  consciously and productively doing so .. from organic food to organic clothing as well as organic paper!

Although this paper is not the kind of paper we think we know off. It is made entirely by hand from a pulp of cotton waste and articles that have  outlived their original use (‘sunn’ hemp, old fishing nets, gunny sacks, tailoring waste, etc.) These are soaked in water for many days, beaten slowly and methodically into a pulp which is then made into sheets of paper ‘lifted by hand’. Genuine “hand-lifted” paper is no longer able to compete for normal uses particularly against subsidised, mechanically-made paper from recycled cotton rags, which are hand cut and marketed as “hand-made” paper. Even so, the paper from Bombay Paperie has a gorgeous texture to it, slightly frayed at the edges, making it excellent for crafting and scrapbooking. And for a more contemporary application each coloured sheet is stuck to a white sheet making way for easy writing – how thoughtful!

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Bombay Paperie seeks to breathe new life into the dying crafts, not only do they make hand-lifted paper but also hand print their paper using hand carved wooden blocks – organic through and through. The company has also enabled one of the last remaining, traditional mill plant near Aurangabad to reopen after a prolonged shutdown and hopes to contribute to a resurgence of skills which were fast disappearing. And most fascinating is that the process followed is that used in making paper for the court of Emperor Jehangir!!

 

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The paper therefore travels a long way to reach its end user at the store located in the financial district of Mumbai – south of Horniman Circle and near the Bombay Stock Exchange – Paper made in Daulatabad (a practice that dates back 400 years in the area), paper sorting done in Bombay/ Mumbai and sent to Ahmedabad for block printing and then back to Bombay.

The types of paper manufactured are:
– Single paper: gift wrapping paper, tissues
– Double paper: collage, wedding cards, envelopes
– Triple paper: paper bags, visiting cards
– Petal /fibre paper: used for decorative products

The standard paper size produce is 28″x 19″.

Their products include a range from notepads, greetings cards, gift bags, note-lets, lanterns, crafting kits, colourful folders containing note cards to potlis, photo-frames, origami pen stands and envelopes.

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MMT Loves: Book collection of some beautiful stories retold and illustrated by Neeta Premchand using Bombay Paperie’s fine handmade paper. Mrs Premchand is also the one who established ‘Bombay Paperie‘ to create awareness of the versatility of hand-made paper. Thank you Ma’am 🙂

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 P.S. Remember our post on the best papers available in Bombay/ Mumbai ?!? Here read on for you wouldn’t want to miss it!

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