The paper you use is important when creating origami as it can quite literally make or break a piece! We've recently start running Origami Tessellation workshops and have been searching for the best paper to use for tessellations, our main key points were finding one that's affordable, easy to find and of course folds wonderfully!
That's when we've discovered a this treasure - Clairefonatine's coloured kraft paper - it's exactly what we've been looking for!
The paper weight is nice and thin at 65gsm, with colour on both sides. It's strong and durable enough to hold the folds as well as being suitable for repeat folding.
The rolls are available in 0.7m wide with a variety of lengths to choose from, the colours are also beautiful. We ordered sky blue, navy, light pink, and white.
It works better than any other papers I have tried so far on both classic and corrugation tessellations.
Here's a Hydrangea (designed by Shuzo Fujimoto) we made using the kraft paper.
Before finding this paper, we would use either Elephant Hide or Tant paper to create tessellations. The reason you shouldn't use standard origami paper for these types of models is they're just too thin and soft to hold all of the folds. If you can't get your hands on a similar type of Kraft paper, I would recommend Elephant hide over Tant.
Tant is generally a lot softer and doesn't hold it's shape well enough, especially after absorbing the oils from your hands during folding.
Elephant Hide still isn't the best though as it is quite thick at 110gsm, this makes gridding quite difficult, it also lacks in colour choice and can be a bit more expensive.
I tried water bomb corrugation with this beautiful ivory colour Kraft paper. It works just perfect. The pre-gridding process is so much easier. I can fold several layers at the same time without worrying about the grids not coming out perfect. When folding, the paper collapses easily together as well.
The kraft paper itself has a lovely silk finish on one side and a matt finish on the other side. When I first receive the paper, it did appear to be just your average kraft paper, but after folding it was marvellous, the lines even add a nice texture to it!
Outsides of tessellations, Biotope is my favourite type of paper to use for making 3D animal designs, to compare the differences between Kraft paper and Biotope (with 60gsm) in this, I made two dimetrodons, designed by Ronald Koh. For this model, I think they both work as well as one another, with very little differences between them. The grey model is made using Biotope and the Blue with the Kraft paper.
Kraft paper is definitely a cheaper alternative for Biotope. I'm excited to compare them using more complex 3D animal designs to see how well the Kraft paper holds up as against Biotope.