What is Khadda Paper and How is it Made?

Whether you’ve been browsing our shop for a new journal for yourself or a special photo album gift for your loved ones, you might’ve come across the descriptions of our khadda paper pages. But what is khadda paper and what’s so special about it? We love this sustainable, handmade paper, and we’ll be happy to tell you all about it.

What is Khadda paper?

Khadda paper, also known as ‘kaddi’ or ‘khaddi’, is a highly sustainable handmade paper crafted from recycled cotton. The Indian garment industry is huge, as India is the world’s largest producer of textiles and garments. This results in an astronomical amount of waste, which is sent to landfill or even burnt.

Our producers take this waste and turn it into the beautiful handmade paper you’ll find in our journals and photo albums. Only white, unbleached cotton is used, ensuring the papers are free of harmful chemicals, with a soft white colour perfect for covering in your writings and artwork. The pages are far stronger and thicker than regular paper due to the long fibres found in the recycled cotton.

How is Khadda paper made?

The cotton rags are shredded into a pulp to extract the fibres. The cotton fibres are then mixed with water and poured into a paper mould – a hand-held frame crafted from wood with a wire mesh draining surface. The mould has a removable frame called a deckle over the top, which holds the pulp in place and forms the sheet.

The mould is then lifted out of the water, and the sheet is placed onto a sheet of woollen felt. Another felt sheet covers it, and then another paper sheet, and so on until they have a whole stack that’s pressed to remove the excess water.

The large individual sheets of paper are hung to dry in the air, before being cut to size for the journals and photo albums they’ll be handbound into.

Who makes Khadda paper?

Since our beginnings in 2002, we’ve been working with the same small family business to create our journals and photo albums. The pages inside are handcrafted by a charity they work with in Rajasthan using their traditional techniques. Through their work, the charity aims to promote women’s education and social development in rural villages.

For more information about the artisans that create our stationery, take a look at Our Producers page.

What materials can I use on khadda paper?

The pages have a slight texture and are a little thicker than your normal sheets. We love how luxurious this makes them feel to write, draw or paint on, and the thickness means that even thick felt tip pens won’t bleed through to the other side of the page. And the photo album pages are even thicker than the journal pages.

Here’s a few of our suggestions for what works best with khadda paper:

Biros ✓ Charcoal ✓ Watercolour paints ✓
Ball point pens ✓ Pencils ✓ Acrylic paints ✓
Fine liners ✓ Felt tip pens ✓ Calligraphy pens ✓
Gel pens ✓ Highlighters ✓ Fountain pens ✓

Of course, it’s always worth testing first to see how your materials will look on the paper. For example, if you’re using a fountain pen with a wider tip or a lot of ink, it may take a little practice to make sure the ink doesn’t bleed. Luckily for you, you’ll find an extra piece of paper inside each cover of your journal to test your doodles on.

Take a look at these incredible artworks created by a customer of ours in our Indra Extra Large Embossed Leather Photo Album with Semi-Precious Stone using watercolour paints and craft materials. Whether you’re writing a to-do list or a creating art, we love the extra special planet-friendly touch using handmade paper gives.

Created by: @hollyavisart

Did you know that over 25% of waste in landfill is paper? Once you’re finished with your khadda paper, why not make your own scrap paper from it? You can use it to create beautiful handmade gift tags, or use it in tons of other craft projects. We love this simple tutorial.

And if you treat yourself to a new journal, or a loved one to a photo album, make sure to tag us in your photos on Instagram and Facebook. We’ll even send you a 10% off discount code for your next order with us. We can’t wait to see what you create!