Saraswati Papers

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Hand crafted in Bali with integrity and named Saraswati Papers for the Hindu Goddess of the arts, beauty, knowledge, science and poetry – people often comment that the papers and products embody all of these divine attributes. What makes them even more special is that they are all created using recycled and other organic materials.

Kali Sari, the founder of Saraswati Papers, had often considered taking on creative endeavors. As a professionally trained chef, she worked with the sensual creation and presentation of food in various countries. Her interest in cuisine and the world eventually led her to the magical island of Bali, which she adopted as her home in the early eighties.

While a magical and beautiful place, Karli recognized that Bali was struggling with ever-increasing pollution caused by a growing and modernizing society. With this concern and a life-long interest in all things paper, she started to put her kitchen blender to new use and began to experiment making handcrafted paper from recycled materials. The joy and passion she had for food and their colors, taste, texture including the art of recipe development, was now applied to creating beautiful and organic paper. A paper-making course later and with the support of the Wisnu Foundation (see the Wisnu Foundation page), Saraswati Papers was born in May 1995.

Working out of her house and kitchen for the first six months, Kali enlisted a team of Balinese village women to learn the skillful art of papermaking. The methods used were the ancient and traditional process of blending, dipping and pressing sheets of paper by hand and hanging it out to dry.

The age-old process was enhanced by her love for teaching the importance of deliberate and careful preparation with final presentation – and adding that extra "pinch of salt." The result was exceptional hand-crafted paper. 

The business grew through word of mouth and Saraswati Papers became a community oriented business providing sustainable opportunities and income to local women while also reducing the build-up of wate paper in Bali.

Each folio of Saraswati hand-made paper is made using 100% post consumer recycled paper collected from schools, offices, hotels and homes around Bali.

It is colored using natural dyes predominantly taken from the earth, roots and leaves, and is textured with the addition of sustainable plant fibers such as bamboo and flower petals. No chemicals or bleaches are used at any stage of the paper making process. The variations and irregularities, which occur in our products are a reflection of the art itself and distinguish Saraswati Papers as a handmade product of environmental integrity.

Over the years the cottage industry has become a boutique business as the Saraswati Papers team are able to create and adapt designs and products to any customers' specific needs. Quality standards have been maintained at the highest posible level and all products are produced with an artisans attention to detail. The hand made papers may be combined with silk screened and laminated cotton papers that are also made in the same studio or other hand crafted materials from around the Indonesian archipelago.

The result is a wide range of earth friendly products and finishes that are sensuous and beautiful.

Visit our other Partner Organizations: 

Yayasan Wisnu    |    Bali Insan Creative    |    Bali Asli