Types and Uses of Xuan Paper

By Fei Gao on Nov 09, 2023

Types and Uses of Xuan Paper

Xuan paper is a traditional Chinese paper used for calligraphy and painting. It has a long history and rich cultural heritage. Xuan paper is available in a variety of types, each with its own unique properties and uses.

Raw Xuan Paper

Raw xuan paper is the most common type of xuan paper. It is characterized by its high absorbency, good penetration, and rich layers. The high absorbency of raw xuan paper allows the ink to fully penetrate the paper, creating a rich sense of depth. Therefore, raw xuan paper is suitable for freehand calligraphy and cursive script, which can fully express the charm of ink and brushwork in calligraphy and painting.

Processed Xuan Paper

Processed xuan paper is xuan paper that has been treated with alum. It is characterized by its water resistance, resistance to bleeding, and fewer layers. The alum treatment of processed xuan paper forms a protective layer on the surface of the paper, making it less susceptible to ink penetration. Therefore, processed xuan paper is suitable for detailed brushwork and regular script. Detailed brushwork requires delicate lines and clear layers, which processed xuan paper can meet well. Regular script requires neat and stable strokes, which processed xuan paper can make the strokes clearer and brighter.

Semi-processed Xuan Paper

Semi-processed xuan paper is a type of xuan paper that falls between raw and processed xuan paper. It has certain absorbency and resistance to bleeding. Semi-processed xuan paper combines the advantages of raw and processed xuan paper, making it suitable for a variety of calligraphy and painting.

Special Xuan Paper

Special xuan paper refers to xuan paper with special properties, such as water resistance, fire resistance, and insect resistance. Water-resistant xuan paper is waterproof and moisture-proof, making it suitable for use in humid environments. Fire-resistant xuan paper is fireproof and flame retardant, making it suitable for use in high-temperature environments. Insect-resistant xuan paper is insect-proof, making it suitable for storing calligraphy and other cultural relics.

Origins of Xuan Paper

The origins of xuan paper are mainly concentrated in Anhui, Sichuan, and Zhejiang. Anhui xuan paper is the representative of xuan paper. It has a delicate texture, white color, and long-lasting durability. Sichuan xuan paper has a strong texture, yellow color, and water resistance. Zhejiang xuan paper has a soft texture, white color, and strong absorbency.

Uses of Xuan Paper

Xuan paper is widely used for calligraphy, painting, and seal carving. In calligraphy, raw xuan paper is suitable for freehand calligraphy, while processed xuan paper is suitable for regular script and running script. In painting, raw xuan paper is suitable for freehand painting, while processed xuan paper is suitable for detailed brushwork. In seal carving, xuan paper is the traditional paper for seals.

Value of Xuan Paper

Xuan paper is an important part of Chinese traditional culture. It has important historical and cultural value. The production process of xuan paper is complex, requiring multiple steps such as material selection, beating, papermaking, and drying. The quality of xuan paper depends on the raw materials, process, and the skills of the maker. High-quality xuan paper has good absorbency, penetration, strength, and toughness, which can fully bring out the charm of calligraphy and painting art.

Protection of Xuan Paper

Xuan paper is a fragile material. In use and storage, the following points should be noted:

  • When using, avoid sharp objects from scratching the paper.
  • When storing, place it in a dry and ventilated environment.
  • Avoid direct sunlight, high temperatures, and humidity.
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