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Lokta paper known also as Nepali paper is made from the Lokta bush or Daphne bush, botanically known as Daphne bhoula or Daphne papyracea. The bush grows in the Himalayan mountainous region at 2,000 to 3,000 m (6,500 to 10,000 feet). There are many different species of Daphne but only five of them are really suitable for making paper. The "Lokta Bush" has characteristics of re-growing again and again after pruning.
Lokta paper is handmade in the mountains of Nepal from the inner bark of this bush. Popular as the most exquisite and versatile papers, Lokta handmade paper has four deckled edges and is a very strong fiber. Lokta paper is being used in government offices for official purposes.
Making process of Lokta paper begins by cleaning the bark of Lokta with sharp knives and chopping it into small pieces. These are then soaked in plain water for 5–6 hours and then cooked in a soaking solution of hot water and soda for 1–2 hours. Then it is washed in cold water. Finally, it is hammered and converted into pulp. The pulp is then poured into wooden frames for drying into sheets of paper and are dried under the sun. The usual size of the Lokta paper is 50 x 76 cm, with several weight such as 40 gr, 20 gr, 10 gr and 5 gr.
Lokta Paper can be preserved for very long period of time. The long fibrous handmade paper is prized for its attractive texture, its durability, strength and its resistance to germs and insects like silverfish, paper crawlers etc. The papers made from Lokta are non-perishable in the water. These papers are easy to dye in water with colors and are ideal in production without using any machines in the entire process.