Handmade by the Otomi Indian artisans of Mexico, the culture of amate paper dates back to
The Otomi people still use amate paper today for creating cutout figures for religious ceremonies, while other village artisans use it for Mexican folk art depicting colorful urban scenes, festivals, and celebrations.
Since amate paper is handmade from natural tree bark, each sheet is unique and varies in shade, color, weight, and pattern. The size of each sheet (approximately 15½" × 23½") also may vary due to the deckle edges and the vagaries of the drying process.
The solid, non-woven sheets in the amate range are laser-printable and inkjet-printable.
Handling Charge — When ordering sheets of paper or board larger than
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The word amate derives from "amatl," the Nahuatl word for paper. The paper is created from the bark of the amate "wild fig tree" (xalama), the nettle tree (jonote), and the mulberry tree (moral), each possessing a different tone of color, ranging from coffee browns to silvery whites.
The pulp from these barks is often combined to produce a swirling marble effect. To accomplish this, artisans first wash the bark, and then boil it in a solution of lime juice for several hours. Then they lay the strips on a wooden board, beat them until they fuse together to form the desired texture, and then dry the strips in the sun.