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Xuan Paper Information
By Tess / 2017-02-07

1. Brief Introduction


Xuan paper: World intangible cultural heritage. Xuan paper, or Shuen paper or Rice paper, is a kind of paper originating in ancient China used for conveying the artistic expression of Chinese calligraphy writing and landscape painting. Xuan paper is renowned for being soft and fine textured. The procedure of making Xuan paper consists of over 100 steps, which was listed as a world intangible cultural heritage by the UNESCO in 2009. Many colored Xuan paper and collection items were developed.

Main raw material of Xuan paper: Bark of Pteroceltis tatarinowii


Xuan Paper Anhui Xuan Paper 

White, great tensile strength, smooth handmade xuan paper


Chinese calligraphy and landscape painting on Xuan Paper

Xuan Paper Calligraphy and Painting


2. Classification


Due to different producing methods, Xuan paper can be classified into Shengxuan, Shuxuan, and Banshuxuan.


Shengxuan (literally "Raw Xuan"), which is not specially processed, excels in its ability to absorb water, causing the ink on it to blur. 

Paper size of Shengxuan Series: 50x100cm (4), 69x138cm (7),97x180cm (3),53x234cm(1).



                    69x138cm Shengxuan Paper                                    35x200cm Sheng Xuan Scrolls                      50x100cmm Pteroceltis Tatarinowii Shengxuan 



                    97x180cm Shengxuan Paper                                97x187cm Sheng Xuan for Painting                     

Shuxuan (literally "Ripe Xuan"), however, has Potassium alum worked into it during production, which results in a stiffer texture, a reduced ability to absorb water, and less resistance to shear stress. This feature makes Shuxuan more suitable for Gongbi rather than Xieyi.



                    34x69cm Shuxuan Paper for Kai                       69x138cm Potassium Alum Shuxuan Paper                   35x70cm Lanting Poetry Anthology Shuxuan Paper


Banshuxuan (literally "Half-ripe Xuan") has intermediate absorbability, between Shengxuan and Shuxuan.



      53x234cm Antique Sprinkle gold Banshuxuan             23x138cm Di Zi Gui Copying Xuan Paper                           27x69cm Poetry Banshuxuan



         34x69cm Prajna Paramita Sutra Copy Xuan                     34x94cm Sapphire blue Copy Xuan Paper          35x135cm Buddhist Scripture Banshuxuan Paper


More Knowledge about xuan paper, please visit www.sx-renson.com


3. Features


Xuan paper features great tensile strength, smooth surface, pure and clean texture and clean stroke, great resistance to crease, corrosion, moth and mold. The majority of ancient Chinese books and paintings by famous painters that survived until today are well preserved on Xuan paper. Xuan paper won the Golden Award at the Panama International Exposition in 1915. Xuan paper was used to make scrolls.


Calligraphy of "Art of War"- Xuan Paper Scrolls

Calligraphy of "Art of War"- Xuan Paper Scrolls


4. Production

The material Xuan paper uses is closely related to the geography of Jing County. The bark of Pteroceltis tatarinowii, a common species of elm in the area, was used as the main material to produce Xuan paper. Rice, along with several other materials, was subsequently added to the recipe in the Song and Yuan Dynasties. Bamboo and mulberry also began to be used to produce xuan paper around that time.

The production of Xuan paper can be loosely described as an 19-step process, and a detailed account would involve over a hundred. Some paper makers have invented steps which have been kept secret from others. The process includes steaming and bleaching the bark of Pteroceltis tatarinowii, as well as the addition of a variety of juices.

The procedure of making xuan paper consists of over 100 steps

Over 100 steps of producing xuan paper


5. Related Works



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