Kathmandu:

Vibrant and colourful, the products of paiper mâché are not only attractive but also multipurpose. The birth of paiper mâché dates back to the 8th Century and was invented by the inventors of paper — Chinese. It is believed that a few Chinese prisoners of war between China and Persia were taken to Samarkand, which was under Arabian dominance, where they taught local artisans the art of paiper mâché. The art then travelled all around the world gaining much popularity all over Europe.

The best thing about this material is that with time people have been moulding it to suit various purposes; the Chinese used to make helmets while the Persians used it to make masks and other items used during festivals.

In this region Kashmiri paiper mâché is famous and one can still see the Persian influence in the designs and motifs.

Today the product range of paiper mâché encompasses a huge variety. Besides boxes of various sizes and shapes, one can get candleholders, photo frames, trays, fruits bowls, flower vase, wall hangings and even Christmas decorative items.

Handling tips

The life of these beautiful and light products very much depends on how one handles them. There are certain things that one needs to keep in mind —

•Keep it away from direct sunlight to avoid discolouration.

•In order to clean them just wipe them with damp cloth, avoid direct contact with water

•These are light and delicate so are at risk of breakage on being dropped.