The History of Washi Tape: From Japan to the World

The History of Washi Tape: From Japan to the World
7 min read

Washi tape has become a staple in the world of crafting and DIY projects. This versatile tape is not only practical, but it also comes in a wide range of colors and designs, making it a popular choice for decorating, journaling, and scrapbooking. But where did this tape come from, and how did it become so popular around the world? In this article, we'll explore the fascinating history of washi tape from its origins in Japan to its global appeal today.

What is Washi Tape?

Washi tape is a type of decorative tape that is made from traditional Japanese paper called washi. Washi is a type of paper that is handmade from natural fibers, such as bamboo or mulberry and is known for its strength and durability. Custom washi tape is typically translucent and can be easily torn by hand, making it easy to use for a variety of projects. It is also available in a wide range of colors and patterns, making it a popular choice for adding a decorative touch to journals, planners, scrapbooks, and more.

The Origins of Washi Tape

The origins of washi tape can be traced back to the traditional Japanese craft of origami, which involves folding paper into decorative shapes. In the 1920s, a Japanese company called Kamoi Kakoshi began producing masking tape, a type of adhesive tape that was commonly used in industrial settings. However, it wasn't until the 1980s that Kamoi Kakoshi began producing washi tape, using the same traditional washi paper used for origami.

Initially, washi tape was primarily used in Japan for wrapping gifts and decorating stationary. However, it wasn't long before the tape's popularity spread beyond Japan, and it began to gain a following around the world.

The Global Appeal of Washi Tape

Today, washi tape is a popular crafting material around the world, and its popularity shows no signs of slowing down. The tape's versatility and wide range of designs make it a popular choice for a variety of projects, from decorating planners and journals to creating wall art and home decor.

One of the reasons for washi tape's global appeal is its ease of use. Unlike traditional adhesive tapes, washi tape is easy to remove and reposition, making it a popular choice for renters and those who like to frequently change their decor. Additionally, its translucent nature makes it easy to layer and create unique effects.

Another reason for washi tape's popularity is its affordability. While some washi tapes can be pricey, many are available at a low cost, making them an accessible material for a wide range of crafters.

Washi Tape in Popular Culture

Washi tape has also become a popular choice for use in popular culture. In recent years, washi tape has been featured in a number of television shows and movies, as well as in music videos and on social media.

One notable example of washi tape's use in popular culture is in the hit television show "Stranger Things." In the show's first season, the character Joyce Byers uses washi tape to create a wall of lights to communicate with her son in the alternate dimension of Upside Down.

Washi Tape in the Future

As the popularity of washi tape continues to grow, it is likely that we will see new and innovative uses for this versatile material. Already, washi tape is being used in a variety of ways, from creating unique wall art to decorating furniture and accessories.

Additionally, with the rise of eco-friendly and sustainable materials, it is possible that we may see washi tape made from even more sustainable materials in the future, further cementing its place in the world of crafting and DIY projects.

  • Washi tape has evolved over time, and its popularity has soared. With this growth in demand, the number of manufacturers has also increased, resulting in a wide range of designs and styles. Today, washi tape is available in an array of colors, patterns, and widths, making it a versatile craft material.
  • Washi tape is commonly used for scrapbooking and other paper crafts, but its uses go far beyond that. It can be used to decorate home decor items, personalize electronics, and even create temporary wall art. Its versatility has made it a popular material for DIY enthusiasts.
  • In addition to its decorative uses, washi tape also has practical applications. It can be used to label and organize items, add color to plain notebooks and calendars, and even fix small household items.
  • As washi tape continues to grow in popularity, its impact is being felt beyond the crafting world. The tape's unique properties have led to its use in various industries. Its adhesive quality, combined with its decorative properties, makes it a popular choice for packaging and branding.


As a result, washi tape has come a long way from its humble origins in Japan. It has become a beloved crafting material, with its popularity spreading around the world. Its versatility and unique properties have made it a favorite among DIY enthusiasts and professionals alike. As washi tape continues to evolve, its potential for creative and practical applications is endless.

For those interested in trying out washi tape, the possibilities are endless. The tape can be purchased online or in craft stores and comes in a variety of colors, patterns, and sizes. It can be used to create unique and personalized gifts, as well as add a touch of flair to everyday items.

One popular use for washi tape is to create custom planners and journal spreads. The tape can be used to mark important dates, add decorative elements, and create section dividers. This is a great way to add a personal touch to a planner or journal and can be a fun and relaxing activity.

Another popular use for washi tape is to decorate party items, such as invitations, party hats, and banners. The tape can also be used to create unique and personalized gift wrapping, adding a special touch to any present. One important aspect i.e, Washi Tape Printing. Washi tape printing is the process of designing and printing your own designs on washi tape. This lets you make designs for your washi tape that are unique and can't be found in stores.

Washi tape is also a great way to personalize and decorate everyday items, such as phone cases, laptops, and water bottles. The tape can be easily removed, making it a temporary way to add a touch of color and style to these items.

As washi tape continues to gain popularity, new and innovative uses for the material will continue to emerge. From practical applications in packaging and branding to fun and creative DIY projects, washi tape is a versatile material that has captured the hearts of many.

Vograce 1 13
Joined: 7 months ago
In case you have found a mistake in the text, please send a message to the author by selecting the mistake and pressing Ctrl-Enter.
Comments (0)

    No comments yet

You must be logged in to comment.

Sign In / Sign Up