Origin

What is a washi tape? Why is it called washi tape?


A industrial masking tape factory received an email one day from a small group of women. Said they have a book of art made with masking tape that was originally intended for use as a tool, not an art supply. They requested the company to manufacture colourful masking tapes for artists.


This was the start of "masking tape". Though there were only 20 colors in the beginning, the tape became popular in Japan by artists, crafters, and design lovers. With success came new colours, patterns and sizes. Thus, washi tape was born!


To define washi tape, washi(和紙) is made of up the two Japanese characters, 和(Wa) and 紙(shi). 和(Wa) symbolizes Japan, and 紙(shi) means paper. You can click here to see more about “washi” on wiki. So washi means Japanese paper. However, the term “washi tape” has really only been used in the west. In Japan it’s just called “masking tape” (マスキングテープ).