the restoration studio for oriental art on paper and silk

The restoration of Japanese screens (byobu)

The restoration of Japanese folding screens necessarily involves a thorough appreciation of the techniques used in their traditional construction. Restorient are able where possible to repair screens locally as well as offering a full remounting service.
To construct a screen from new a set of Japanese white cedar lattices are first sealed with a film of Japanese gluten-free wheat starch paste. This is to prevent the paste for the first layer of paper being too quickly absorbed by the wooden frame. White cedar is preferred as it is light and virtually resin-free. The layers of paper are then attached to the lattices in the following order:-

Honeshibari -1st layer of Japanese mulberry paper medium weight  Applied in large sheet size.

Dobari – second layer consisting of a blue coloured clay loaded paper called maniai-shi. This paper is used as a precaution to any possible transfer of residues from the wooden core. Half sheet size. Thin adhesive

Minokake – called pillow or cushion layer - sometimes double layer, more usually triple. Secured only at edges so centre remains un-attached.

Minoshibari – quarter sheets pasted all over a medium weight mulberry paper

Paper hinges are then attached. These are attached in an alternate sequence which allows the finished screen to articulate both forwards and backwards.

Ukekake1&2- this consists of two layers an under and an upper layer, paper is cut into eighths with two cut sides and two water torn.

Onto this support paintings which would also have additional paper linings are attached by applying a water paste to the centre and a thicker paste around the outer edges. The decorative printed papers karakami are also attached at this time.

Once the paintings are in position the border silks and lacquer rails can be attached along with any metal screen fittings kanamono.