About LOkta Paper
A Rich Tradition
The earliest surviving lokta paper document appears in Nepal's National Archives in Kathmandu in the form of the sacred Buddhist text, the Karanya Buha Sutra. The Karanya Buha Sutra was written in Lichchhavi script and block printed on lokta paper and is estimated to be between 1,000 and 1,900 years old. Lokta paper has been produced using similar methods for centuries and that tradition continues today.
Nepalese handmade lokta paper is made from the fibrous inner bark of high elevation evergreen shrubs primarily from two species of Daphne bholua and Daphne papyracea, known collectively and vernacularly as lokta bushes. Lokta bushes proliferate in open clusters or colonies on the southern slopes of Nepal's Himalayan forests between 1,600 and 4,000 m (5,250–13,000 ft).
The inner bark of the Lokta bush is harvested to produce Lokta paper using age-old papermaking traditions passed down from generation to generation. The fiber is cooked on a wood stove to get the smooth material to make paper. This material is beaten till pulp and this will go on frames with cotton. It is sun dried and each paper sheet is different, unique.
One of World’s Finest Papers
The lokta fiber is possibly one of the longest and strongest natural fibers, thus paper made from it is very strong. Lokta paper has a soft and unique texture and makes beautiful deckled edges when torn.
Lokta bush completely regenerates in about 4 years after being cut to about 6" from the ground. Therefore, the cultivation of this "tree-free paper" is an eco-friendly resource and a reliable revenue stream for the artisans of Nepal's rural and urban areas.
More than 90% of our artisans are women.