Let's Explore Paper Yarn

Let's Explore Paper Yarn

What is Paper Yarn?

Let's talk paper yarn. It's a mystery - how can paper be a yarn? Doesn't it tear? Can you wash it?  How can you wear paper? Hopefully we can answer your questions here!


Paper itself is generally made from cellulose which is derived from the cell walls of fibrous plants including cotton, flax, hemp, bamboo, linen, wood and grasses. Moist plant pulp is spun and fashioned either mechanically or by hand into large sheets which are then pressed and dried. The sheets are cut into strips which are fashioned into paper string or twine by rolling and twisting, or left as is resulting in paper tape. Generally these forms are collectively referred to as paper yarn.


Paper yarn has fascinating properties - it is naturally anti-odour, moisture wicking and quick drying and is the perfect seasonal yarn being both lightweight and warm. Paper yarn is smooth and strong and gives great stitch definition. 

Is paper yarn eco-friendly?

Paper yarn is eco-friendly, made from easily re-generated. highly sustainable and farmed crops and being plant based is fully biodegradable.

History of paper yarn

Paper yarn has a fascinating history dating back many centuries and originated in China where it was used for money, decorating purposes and embroidery patterns. Since the year 800 though, Japan's paper yarn making skills are recognised for their superiority. In the beginning, when there were no sheep or cotton farms in Japan, silk, flax and hemp were mainly used for making fabrics. However, paper yarn was also used for certain clothes for the aristocracy including samurais and traditional kimonos. 

Since that time, paper making has evolved and many aspects have been modernised. Many small mills, particularly in Japan, still craft paper yarn using traditional techniques.

How to use paper yarn

Paper yarn is strong, light weight and very wearable! Use paper yarn in weaving, knitting, crochet and craft including artisan jewellery.

It can also be used to give structure to a sculptural garment or textile art piece.

Paper yarn is also well suited to mixing with other yarns, for example cotton gima, for additional thickness and/or stability.

Our paper yarn looks amazing as summer sweaters, short sleeved tops, bags, hats, scarves, wraps and jewellery.

hat crocheted from paper yarn - raffia based

Hat crocheted using raffia paper yarn


Crochet bag incorporating Habu Textiles Silk Wrapped Paper Yarn

Is paper yarn washable?

Yes, our paper yarn is washable! We recommend dry cleaning or hand washing.

Paper yarn collection

ORA loves paper yarns. See our full collection of paper yarn here

Browse Inspirations for further creative ideas

By inspired to create something beautiful! x




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