Guest Author - Vivienne Oestergaard
With the invention of paper, came origami. Origami refers to the ancient Japanese art of paper folding. This came after Chinese Buddist monks arrived sometime in the 6th century in Japan with the first papers. The first known origami was used for religious ceremonies due to the high cost of paper. The Japanese word "ORI" means "to fold" and "KAMI" means "paper”.
Paper folding in Europe is evidenced by a picture of a small paper boat in Tractatus de sphaera mundi (meaning On the Sphere of the World in Latin) from 1490. This book is an introduction to the basic elements of astronomy written by Johannes de Sacrobosco.
It is not known if the forms of paperfolding from the East and from Europe had a common source.
Modern origami dates to 1954 with Akira Yoshizawa who devised the notation system for origami folding instruction which is the standard today. In Europe, kindergarten founder Friedrich Frobel used papercrafts as teaching aids for child development during the early 1800s.
Today, with a huge interest in paperfolding, there are many origami societies organized throughout the world. With the evolution of paperfolding, there are now many different types of origami. Here is a list and description of some of the various styles:
Action origami-these are origami models with movement in the final figure
Business card origami-these are origami models made with business cards
Candy wrapper origami-these are origami models made with candy wrappers
Fabric folding-origami with fabric, such as fabric napkins, towels, or in creating quilts
Wet fold origami-this type of origami uses a dampend piece of paper to form a gentler crease and more realistic folds.
Toilet paper origami-these are origami models made with toilet paper or folded on the ends of toilet paper on the roll
3D paper folding-also known as Chinese paper folding using triangular shapes inserted into each other and formed into 3D shapes such as swans
Modular or unit origami-2 or more pieces of paper are used and formed into units which are assembled together to form shapes, used often for teaching aids in math classes
Origamic architecture (my favorite)-usually in folded card form and uses papercutting (kirigami) to form architectural designs, developed by Masahiro Chatani and Keiko Nakazawa
Tea bag folding-shapes made with tea bag wrappers to decorate cards
There are many types of paper you can use for origami. With the most widely used being a perfect square, quite thin, and strong. These are some of the types available:
Colored on one side and white on the other
Duo-different colors on each side
Washi-textured and softer than regular copy paper
Chiyogami-traditional Japanese designs on one side