Dak (Paper mulberry)
Dak is the Korean name for paper mulberry. It has grown in much of
Korean peninsula since ancient time. Scientific name for the
most popular Dak used in paper making is Broussonetia Kazinoki
Sieb and Broussonetia papyrifera Vent.
Dak is harvested between November and February before
the fiber stiffens. Compared to paper mulberrry found in
warmer regions of Asia, Korean Dak is known for its long,
flexible, and strong fiber. There are different grades of
paper mulberry. Best grade is called Cham Dak. This does
not refer to one of the species of Dak. Rather, it is a
term used for Dak with the best qualities for making paper.
Cham Dak translates to 'true paper mulberry'. FIDES supplies
Hanji made with the highest quality Cham Dak.
Hwang Chok Kyu
(Natural formation aid)
Natural formation aid is extracted from the roots of a
hibiscus plant called Hwang Chok Kyu. It is harvested during
May to June. Scientific name for it is Hibiscus Manihot,
Linne, or Abelmoschus manihot. Hwang Chok Kyu roots are
cleaned and pounded until cracked open. These roots release
natural formation aid, Dak Pul, when soaked in cold water
for 2-3 hours. This liquid consists of water, lime, sugar, starch, arabinose, rhamnose,
galactouronic acid, galactose, lignin, and protein. Temperature is key to maintaining the right
viscosity. This magical solution keeps Dak fibers suspended
in the vat and prevents long fibers from tangling. Dak Pul
allows the fibers to flow freely and evenly across the screen
in formation process and helps to separate the wet sheets from the stack later.
FIDES 1000 and 5000 series Hanji are
made exclusively with this natural formation aid.
Traditionally, papermakers used water from clean
creeks for Hanji. This is why villages that had water supply free
of iron or any other impurities came to pruduce best papers.
Iron is often the main cause for discoloration of paper.
FIDES represents Hanji from paper mills in provinces of
South Kyung Sang, Kang Won, Kyung Ki, and North Choong Chung,
where long tradition of quality Hanji is still alive.