Rice paper is a non-fibrous, flimsy and fragile paper-like material made from the pith of the rice paper tree. The pith is extorted from a small Asiatic tree/shrub generally grown in China and Japan. This rice paper is used extensively to make rice paper shades, lamps, and blinds. Rice paper is made from natural material; this means negligible toxins in your home. Rice paper has a range of natural colors as it is made from natural material and so will suit the décor of any interior.
Rice Paper Blinds
Rice paper blinds are unique wraps of beauty that reflect Asian culture. Unique and exceptional translucent window coverings made from rice paper can give your windows a unique facelift. Rice paper blinds also act as air conditioners as they cool the interiors of any building by scattering the harsh sunlight. These blinds are efficient in conserving power as they improve the overall lighting of the interiors. They also lend the interiors an idealistic touch - both from aesthetic and conservation perspectives.
Transparent window blinds made from rice paper are also available with special features like motifs, glitter etc. These blinds are the latest trend in the interior decoration industry and are expensive if purchased from a ready-made store. Rice paper blinds are easy to clean and the added advantage is you find no warp in these blinds. They are long lasting as rice paper is moth-resistant and is also not easily perishable.
Rice Paper Shades
Rice paper shades are trendy as well as popular due to the unique lighting effect they provide. A rice paper window shade is a simple, eye-catching, and economical substitute to drapes. While using rice paper shades, the interiors of your home reflect an artistic solitude and scatter the light evenly. Rice paper shades are natural, useful and handy. The rice paper may appear flimsy but it can be used for years. The specialty of rice paper shades is that it can fit odd shaped windows while giving them an elegant and stylish look.
Rice paper shades can also be made at home. Rice paper shades are made by spreading them over a wooden frame. This frame is either fixed to the window frame or is hung from the top of the window frame. Making rice paper shades is a popular project with DIY buffs.
Glitter leaves, motifs and decorative threads fastened to the rice paper make for added elegance. Chinese calligraphy is another aesthetic embellishment. You can also make pleated rice paper shades by pleating the rice paper before you fix them. Pleated shades can be fixed on roller shades. You can also use strips of contrasting papers along with the rice paper to make these shades more colorful.
Rice Paper Lamps
A rice paper lamp adds charm, elegance and style to your home or office. A rice paper lamp is both cost-effective as well as trendy. Conventional rice paper lamps have a touch of Asian designs; contemporary lamps are available too.
The thickness of the rice paper used in the lamps will determine the amount of light being dispersed into the room. A rice paper lamp made with 1-ply (1 layer) rice paper lamp will disperse more light than a 3-ply (3 layers) rice paper lamp. In areas like living rooms it is advisable to use lamps made from1 ply rice paper and bedside lamps can be fit with 3-ply rice paper as the light required will be minimal in the bedroom. Rice paper that has no coating is known as unsized rice paper and these papers are more absorbent, lamps made from these papers disperse light better. If the rice paper is decorated using inks and other adornments, it will spread out light according to the adornments used.
A general myth is that rice paper shades burn easily, this is not so. Of course rice paper lights have to be handled with care as the electricity passing through can be a potential hazard which is so with any kind of lamps.
Rice Paper Lanterns
Conventional Chinese lanterns were made with rice paper. They are used as embellishments and in home decors; they are also used for illumination purpose, weddings and during holiday celebrations. The Chinese dedicated the lantern festival (second most important national holiday in China) to the paper lantern.
Types of rice paper lanterns
Festive lantern: They are made from bamboo shims and covered with colored paper. This lantern is the oldest variety of Chinese paper lantern. This lantern is used mainly during the Chinese holidays particularly during the Lantern Festival.
Palace lantern: This lantern was first used in the imperial court of the 14th century. It is now used in homes as well. This lantern is created from engraved wood and is paneled with Chinese painting. Great talent and special tools are required to make such paper lantern.
Red lantern: Red paper lantern is more popular than any other variety of lanterns. It is mainly used for celebrations like New Year's Day, weddings, etc. Red indicates happiness and also refers to the legendary name of China in ancient times.
Name lantern: The lantern is covered with white rice paper and display the name of its owner.
Rice Paper Flowers
Dried flowers like paper flowers are used extensively in decorating houses, offices, wedding ceremonies, functions, etc. These artificial rice paper flowers remain fresh for a longer time when compared to natural flowers and also need not be replaced as often as the natural flowers. Rice paper is a perfect choice for making artificial flowers as they have a very soft texture and are very flexible. These papers are strong and their bone white color makes them a perfect choice for making artificial flowers. Rice paper is also available in a variety of colors and this provides an edge for artificial flower making. Intricate designing on rice paper is not difficult as they can be held extensively without causing damage.
Rice Paper crafts
Rice paper is extensively used in craft making as it is thin, delicate but strong. They are also available in various colors and have good absorbency. Rice paper can be used in for the following crafts - Calligraphy, painting, collage, etching, scroll mounting and Chinese paper cuttings.