Origami is famous Japanese traditional art of paper-folding. The name is derived from the Japanese words "oru" which means folding, and "kami", which means paper. The main goal of origami is to create an object using geometric folds and patterns, without necessarily cutting paper or gluing them together.
Well-Known Origami Forms
Probably the most well-know origami form is the Japanese paper crane. In general, most origami creations or designs start with a square sheet of paper, and the sides may differ in both color and print. The number of basic origami folds is quite small; however, they can be combined in different ways.
History of Origami
While it is believed that Origami originated in Japan, countries such as Germany, Spain and China also had their own paper-folding traditions and practices. During the Heian Period (794-1185), Samurai warriors were recorded to have exchanged gifts that were adorned with good luck tokes, called noshi, which were adorned with folded paper strips. In Shinto weddings, origami butterflies were also used to represent the bride and the groom.
Paper-folding traditions in Europe were also noted, as evidence by the discovery of a cut-and-folded paper box in 1440. The Moors of early Spain were known to have practiced some form of paper-folding, although it was believed that the knowledge came from the Far East, through the famous Silk Route.
Modern Origami Trends
Modern origami began to bloom when a Japanese designer, Akira Yoshizawa, wrote notations about how to fold origami models. Today, a standard called the Yoshizawa-Randlett standard is widely used as the globally-accepted method for cutting and folding paper. Origami societies have also been established in both Japan and overseas, and the notable organizations include Origami USA and the British Origami Society.
Type of Paper Used
Origami paper, also referred to as "kami", is generally sold in various pre-packaged squares, with sizes ranging from 2.5 cm to 25 cm and above. Origami paper is usually colored on one side, and plain white on the other side. Some origami paper types also feature dual colored and patterned versions. What's unique with origami paper is that it weighs less than standard copy paper, making it truly suitable for a wider array of models. The most popular and predominantly-used origami paper in Japan is called "Washi". This variant is much tougher than ordinary paper, and is made from wood pulp, and is also used in various Japanese traditional art forms. Washi is produced using fibers that are taken from the bark of the gampi tree or the mitsumata shrub. It can be made from materials such as hemp, rice, wheat and bamboo.
Different Types of Origami
The different types of origami include modular origami, wet folding, Pureland origami and origami tessellations. In modular origami, the individual pieces are quite simple; however the end result or the final assembly can be a tricky process. Many standard modular origami designs feature decorative balls called the kusudama. In kusudama however, the pieces can be put together using glue or thread.
Pureland origami requires that only one fold be done at a time, and extra complicated folds are generally not allowed. The folds also feature straightforward locations. The Pureland style was developed John Smith in the 1970's, primarily to assist neophyte or inexperienced folders, as well as those with limited skills.
Wet folding is a techniquem which created models that have gentle curves, rather than geometric fold with flat surfaces. The paper used is also dampened, to allow it to be easily molded.
Origami tessellation is a branch that has lately risen in popularity. The technique refers to the tilting of the plane, and around 2 dimensional figures fill the plane, and no gaps or overlaps are seen. Origami tessellations are also made using flat materials, mostly paper. However it can be made using materials that hold a crease.