This Sikkim Village Makes Handmade Paper The Old Egyptian Way

This Sikkim Village Makes Handmade Paper The Old Egyptian Way
Handmade paper at Borong-Polok Handmade Paper Unit , Photo Credit: Piyali Sen

A village cooperative produces handcrafted paper products using an ancient method. And they make for stunning gifts.

Piyali Sen
August 28 , 2021
01 Min Read

Next time you are in Sikkim, you must take time out to visit the small handmade paper unit in Borong village. About 17km from Ravangla town, it is housed on the premises of the Wildflower Retreat. Established in 2003, the Borong-Polok Handmade Paper Unit is a successful venture by the Sikkim Development Foundation with equity capital and local participation from local households. 

 The village makes handcrafted paper products


This village cooperative produces handcrafted paper products. The paper produced is of different grades and gets exported to places like Singapore, Bangkok, Thailand.

A woman making paper

You can ask for a guided tour of the unit. The women working here use the ancient technique of paper making using the bark of the papyrus tree which is scaled off, pulped down to make a paste with water, then put through a sieve. The resulting paper is textured and superfine.

A man showing the products.

They use the papyracea plant - the inner bark is used to make paper. The paper is durable and resistant to insects. Its longevity makes it ideal for preserving important written words and it is still used for sacred texts by monasteries in the state. Paper has been made from this tree species for more than 1,000 years.

You can find various paper products to buy at the store

You can pick up sheets in different colours at the shop here, as well as diaries, envelopes, lampshades and paper figures. These make for excellent gifts.


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