Here are a few facts about lokta paper
that you ought to know:
- Lokta Paper is water-resistant to some extent. One proof is the fact that the lokta paper, once constructed is immersed in dye to be colored.
- Lokta Paper is germ resistant, meaning it won’t be eaten by moths and other book worms because the scent of the bush is impervious to insects.
- Since it is germ resistant, it lasts as long as 500 years. Tibetan prayers written in lokta papers have been found to be as old as 500 years.
- The Government of Nepal uses lokta paper for official documents and Buddhist monasteries use it for their sacred scripts and prayers.
- The lokta bush that gives the core ingredient for the paper grows back to full maturity after 2-3 years of pruning. This means, that a forest doesn’t need to be cut down to generate these papers. Think about it.
- Also, since the bush can grow anywhere and not necessarily the forest. Hence, lokta bush farming is possible and can be grown in tiers, so as to be harvested in different years.
- For many of the manpower that are involved in lokta manufacturing, from harvesting the bush to making paper and creating products, this is the only source of income in their household.
- Not everything from the bark is used to make paper. But not a thing is wasted either. The unused stalks of the bush are used as cooking fuel.
- Traditionally, lokta paper was also used as bandages for wounds and bruises. This tradition continues till date in many rural areas of Nepal and some parts of the main cities as well.
- A sacred Buddhist text, the Karanya Buha Sutra is the oldest surviving lokta paper document which can be found in Nepal’s National Archives in Kathmandu. It has been estimated to be somewhere between 1,000 to 1,900 years old.
- Today, the usage of lokta paper is vast. From notebooks to stationery products, origami and decors, lokta papers can be used to make a lot of interesting products.
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