papier mache

What is Papier-mâché?

Firstly, Papier-mâché or Papier Mache literally means chewed or pulped paper.  Extremely colourful & stunning handicrafts are created with paper. More often that not,you are likely to mistake  paper mache for  ceramic crafts.This composite material is made up of paper pieces or paper pulp made added to glue or starch. Further, it is moulded with the help of wire or textiles and a mould. When it dries, it can be  painted in interesting colours & patterns.

Papier Mache is used to make masks and puppets.For example, carnival floats make use of  this form of craft  to create magnificent life sized figures. Cartoneria is a traditional  paper handicraft of Mexico. As a matter of fact, they are decorative puppets used during the prayer for the dead.Further, laminated paper was used as an alternative to carved wooden architecture in Europe in the 18th Century .

Available at Delhi:- Dilli Haat , Kashmir Emporium(Delhi), Panthoibo Manipur Emporium, Mehra Bros, Central Cottage Industries

Available at Bangalore:- Central Cottage Industries

Shop in Chennai at:- Kalpa Druma Handicraft

Available at Pondicherry:- Treasure

Papier Mache


For instance, since ancient period, artists were involved in the making of papier mache objects in places like China and Tibet. The Georgian and Victorian periods (1720-1900) also bore witness to the popularity of this art form.

From being used to make decorative materials like cards, boxes, wall brackets, decorative ceilings, and inkstands, Papier-mâché has come a long way. Now, artisans make use of machine-driven techniques to make even ‘japanned’ furniture.Beautiful bangles in papier mache will leave you mersmerised.

Papier Mache in Kashmir

In India, Kashmir imbibed this exquisite handicraft from the land of Iran. Decorative pieces such as trays, lamps, toys, mirror cases, and flower vases continue to be made by artisans here. For example, christmas decorations such as stars, hanging balls & baubles  in bright colours are spectacularly beautiful. The items are handpainted is bright colours such as red, blue, yellow& orange with beautiful flower motifs.

Further, craftsmen from Orissa, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh are also known for making a variety of decorative papier-mâché items.


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