Lokta Paper is handcrafted from the bark of the Daphne bush (Daphne Cannabina Papyracea), which grows naturally in the Himalayas at altitudes of 6000 to 10,000 feet. Lokta produces a long fibrous, acid-free paper and is prized for its attractive soft texture, natural color, exceptional durability and strength. Lokta paper is generally produced in the mountainous Himalayans region in the kingdom of Nepal.
Lokta paper is an environmental friendly tree-free paper, made from a sustainable resource and harvested and produced naturally without the use of machines. After harvesting in the Fall, the Lokta bush naturally regenerates, reaching full maturity in just three to four years.
Nepalese Lokta paper has been used in Nepal for thousands of years, the tradition passed down through the generations. Lokta paper has been used by Tibetan monasteries for sacred texts for centuries and Lokta paper is still used today for official Nepalese government documents. The Lokta industry supports a large number of people in remote villages and farming communities. Nepali handmade paper is produced through simple, natural technique and is a vital social and economic product in Nepal.
The remarkable process of making this exceptional paper starts by gathering the bark in the altitudes of the Himalayas and then carrying it down to villages, where local paper makers clean and boil the inner bark. The boiled bark is beaten with wooden mallets, producing a pulp, then poured over screened wooden frames and dried in the Himalayan sunshine, just as it was a thousand years ago.
Lokta plants reach a mature height of 10 to 15 feet with basal diameter ranging from 2 to 3 inches. The leaves grow 2 to 4 inches long and 0.5 to 1 inch wide. The flowers are white with a sweet smelling scent. The inner fibrous bark of this plant is the raw material used for the making of this handmade paper.