Let's go banana! The Story About Our Banana Papers

Sukhothai province, home to our factory, is like the banana leaf capital of Thailand. People use these leaves as containers and for traditional flower arrangements. When banana leaves are harvested, their stems are usually thrown away. So, we have a ton (I mean, a TON) of leftover stems just lying around almost all year round. Fortunately, we have a way to make the most out of them – by making Banana Paper!

Farmers harvest banana leave

Sukhothai farmers prepare banana leaves. You can see the heap of unused stem in the back (picture by ข่าวความมั่นคงออนไลน์).

Sweet fermented rice in banana leaves

Tasty sweet fermented rice in banana leaves I ate while writing this blog!

 Krathong made from banana leaves and flowers

Krathong made from banana leaves and flowers

Kozo Studio's unique Banana Paper

Kozo Studio's Banana Paper

Banana paper is made from the bark and stem of banana plants. These parts have fibers that can be used to make one of the most outstanding papers and reduce the waste at the same time. Banana paper also uses less energy and chemical to produce compared to wood-based papers (e.g., newspaper or office paper).

There are several simple steps to make banana paper:

  1. Collect banana plant trunks and stems.
  2. Strip the outer layer from each trunk.
  3. Dry the stripped fiber.
  4. Cut the dried fiber into smaller pieces.
  5. Wash the pieces with water to remove natural resins that may weaken the paper.
  6. Cook the fiber in caustic soda.
  7. Beat the fiber into a fine pulp.
  8. Blend the pulp and water in a vat.
  9. Dip a deckle and mold into the vat, and scoop the pulp onto the mold, making sure it is evenly spread.
  10. Shake and drain out any excess water and use a press or weight to squeeze out additional water from the pulp.
  11. Leave the paper on the mold to dry completely.
  12. Remove the paper from the mold, then it can be used as is or cut to desired size.

Generally, banana paper has a rough surface because it contains hemicellulose, lignin, and other wax-like substances. Moreover, pure banana paper has high tensile strength but is relatively more rigid. By incorporating kozo pulp, Kozo Studio is able to create a banana paper that is not only beautiful and authentic, but also strong and more flexible.

In addition to Banana Paper, we also create unique Banana Kozo paper that highlights the intriguing fibers from the stem and trunk of bananas on a natural mulberry paper sheet.

Kozo Studio's Banana Kozo Paper

Kozo Studio's Banana Kozo Paper

Both of our Banana Papers are ideal for a wide range of creative projects and are environmentally friendly. It is also a great choice for decoration, adding a natural and organic touch to any space. Be sure to check them out!

Kozo Studio's Mulberry paper gallery

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