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Origami - The Art of Paper Folding

Origami - Getting Started

Getting started with origami is simple. You only need a piece of paper and a folding surface. While any paper can be used for origami, paper which is thin and easy to hold . Ordinary printer paper is a good choice.

Gift wrapper, florist paper and even paper from magazines can be used. Special origami paper which is pre-cut into various sizes are also available. You then need a flat surface to work on. A table or a book can be used as a flat surface.

The folding instructions for most origami patterns can be found online. Congrats on Starting! You will find Origami a truly rewarding and fulfilling hobby.

Types of Origami

Over the centuries, Origami has grown increasingly sophisticated and complex.  Simple shapes have given way to multilateral origami.  Today there are numerous types of origami such as modular origami, panel origami, action origami and so on.

Following are some of the types of origami

Wet Origami

Wet Origami is made by first moistening the paper.  This gives a more textured and natural look to the final piece.  The final piece will have curves and bends in the paper.

Modular Origami

Modular Origami deals with making identical modules which are then joined together by means of flaps and pockets to form a completely different design  such as a octahedron.  Both flat and three dimensional shapes can be made from Modular Origami.

Action Origami

Action Origami is the making of origami which can move such as a

bird which can flap its wings or a frog which can jump.

Types of Origami Paper

 Throughout its history in Japan, special paper was made for Origami. Origami paper is special paper which is used for origami.  It is colored on one side and white on the other.  It is available at most hobby stores. 

A variety of papers are available for the enthusiast. The papers come in sets of 25-50 pieces.  Origami paper comes in many sizes.  Ordinary printer paper or recycled paper can be used as substitutes.


Kami or Koi paper is the most common. It is commonly used in schools. The Kami paper is thin and is usually available in square shapes of 3, 6 and 9 inches. Kami is colored or checked. Paper backed foil Paper backed foil is shiny and origami made with this appears attractive. The foil is pasted to a thin sheet of paper. Creases are easy to make in paper backed foil. The foil can be silver colored or gold colored. It can also have geometric patterns.


Washi is a type of origami paper which is textured and soft. It is also thick which makes making creases difficult. Duo Paper Duo paper has two colors on either side. This makes the finished product more colorful and distinct with different colors


Chiyogami is traditional Washi Paper with traditional Japanese design on one side.

Origami - Tools Required

While basic origami requires just a sheet of paper and a flat surface.  Specialized tools are available which make origami much more easier and the finished work appear more distinct and professional.


A bone folder is used to make sharp folds in the paper.  Bone folders were originally made of bone.

Nowadays, bone folders are made of wood and, even, plastic.  If you do not have a bone folder, simple house hold articles such a metal spoon, ruler or an unused credit card can be used. 

Symbols used in Origami

As origami grew increasingly complex and specialized, distinct notations were developed to describe the folds involved.  The method used almost universally to denote folds in origami is the Yoshizawa-Randlett System.  This sytem has distinct notations for folds, movements and repetitions.  This helps the artist to follow the instructions in a design book.

Following are some links to the methods of notations.

Setting up your Origami Business

Origami can be more than just a pastime. There is a great demand for elegant and well made origami products around the world. Origami can be used to decorate a show case and in interior decorating. Origami Wall hangings command good value in the market.

If you are an Origami enthusiast who wants to launch their product, the following steps would be helpful.

Approach Gift Shops and business near your locality

Gift Shops may give you shelf space for your products so that customers may buy them. Origami can be very appealing gifts. Business may be in need for gifts to their customers and employees.

Approach Interior Decoration Companies

Interior Decoration companies are always on the look out for wall hangings and mountings for their projects. They may be interested in your products.

Get a Website

You need a website to showcase your product. A website also gives you credibility and helps in branding

Get good photographs of your products

Engage a professional photographer specializing in product photography to take pictures of your products. You will need good quality photographs to show your online customers.

Get an online store

An online store helps customer buy your products and pay through paypal or through their credit cards. Set up an online store on your website or through website like or Be more innovative Think of new designs and patterns to increase your range and to stay ahead of the competition.