What is Lokta?
Lokta, commonly known as lokta paper or rice paper, has been crafted in the traditional way for more than 1500 years. Nepalese handmade products made of Lokta Paper are very popular worldwide nowadays as it is the most exquisite and versatile paper on the planet. Lokta paper is appreciated for its exceptional durability, attractive texture and strength of its fibre. It is also highly resistive to insects. It is well known that ancient religious texts and royal edicts were recorded on lokta paper and even today, many Nepalese legal and official government documents are recorded on Lokta paper. Besides this, the monks of Tibet too use it for their manuscripts and for printing sacred texts.
The sacred Buddhist text "Karanya Buha Sutra" was written in Lichchavi script on Nepalese handmade paper between first and Ninth Century A.D. which is still safe in national archive in Kathmandu, Nepal. This is enough to prove that the life and the strength of Nepalese lokta paper is very high.
How Lokta Paper is made?
Daphne Cannabina or Daphne Papyracea, locally known as lokta, is the raw material used for the production of lokta paper. These materials are gathered at high altitude of 6500 ft. to 10000 ft. without destructing the fragile ecology of the forests. They are then carried to villages 2 or 3 days walk down to the mountains. The production of handmade paper begins by cleaning and boiling the dried bark of Daphne Cannabina or Daphne Papyracea with ash or caustic soda solution. The softened bark is then washed to remove impurities and beaten with wooden mallets to a pulp which is poured onto wooden frames and sun dried. This is then dyed, stencilled, printed and transformed into attractive products like wall paper, stationary, greeting cards, diaries & notebooks, gift wrapping paper, bags, envelopes, photo frames, paper accessories etc by skilled craftsmen.
1. Eco friendly as Lokta paper is entirely handmade and sun dried, so there are no machines emitting C02 or other emission into the atmosphere and It does not have any impact on fragile ecology of the forest
2. Soft sensational feeling and attractive texture
3. Resistive to insects and germ-free
4. Extremely durable and strong as the paper is highly resistive to decay
5. Easily fold-able without any wrinkle and corrugation
6. Can be dyed easily with any color in water
7. Does not get damaged immediately in water
8. Easy recycling
9. Can be used to wrap to retain the potency of incense, spices and medicine
10. Ideal for archival storage and many other applications