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Flowers in Saa Paper Crafts


Flowers in Saa Paper Crafts

Mulberry Paper, Flowers in Saa Paper Crafts | Bloomsday Review

Recently in Thailand on June 21 to 23, the village of Ton Pao, located in Chiang Mai province, held a festival called “Amazing Lanna Saa Paper Festival” promoting local handmade paper production and handicrafts.

Our correspondent in Thailand, with camera in tow, braved the sweltering heat to attend the festival in search of handicrafts made with flowers. She found that flowers and greenery are by far the most popular decorative elements and motifs used in Saa paper crafts. “The Thais love to decorate everything with flowers, especially up here in Chiang Mai,” she says. “Whether the flowers be dyed, dried, or fresh.”

In the Chiang Mai area, one need not travel far to source flowers from local farms or nearby fields filled with wildflowers. It’s a place where throughout the year you’ll always find something in bloom. And, under no serious pressure to reproduce previous designs, as Saa papermaking is very much small-batch and artisanal, craftspeople have the flexibility to choose flowers based on whatever is currently available.

Evidently, fuengfa (bougainvillea), butterfly pea flowers, red roses, white roses, Mexican sunflowers, as well as fern and garlic are among what’s currently locally grown and readily available in the Chiang Mai area and Mae Hong Son region surrounding Ton Pao Village.

Handicrafts on display at store Thai Paper Crafts in Ton Pao Village during Amazing Lanna Saa Paper Festival

Wildflowers embedded into sheet of Saa paper. Saa means mulberry in Thai. | Bloomsday ReviewWildflowers embedded into sheet of Saa paper. Saa means mulberry in Thai.


Handmade Mulberry Paper Tote Bags | Bloomsday ReviewSaa paper totes with embedded fuengfa flowers (bag on left) and butterfly pea flowers (bag on right). Fuengfa is the Thai word for bougainvillea.


Handmade Notebook With Mulberry Paper, Saa Paper | Bloomsday ReviewRose petals embedded into book cover. Though plentiful in Chiang Mai, roses are not so ideal for papermaking since they take longer to dry than other flowers. If not fully dried, petals will ruin the paper.


Handmade Mulberry Wine Bags, Saa Paper Tote Bags | Bloomsday ReviewMade with wildflowers readily available at time of paper production…and garlic.


Tiny baskets filled with tiny flowers that have been dyed and then dried.Tiny baskets filled with tiny flowers that have been dyed and then dried.


Handmade Mulberry Paper Journal, Vintage Journals | Bloomsday ReviewPressed fern leaf and assorted Saa paper stationery.


Pressed fern leaf and assorted Saa paper stationery | Bloomsday ReviewSaa paper shaped into flower.


Mulberry Paper Guest Book | Bloomsday ReviewDestined to serve as guestbook at a French wedding.


Saa paper flower set against tiny dried flowers and pressed greenerySaa paper flower set against tiny dried flowers and pressed greenery.


Saa Paper Scrapbook with dried flowersAssortment of dried flowers filling a wagon shaped from Saa paper twine.


Dried flowers sealed onto wooden coasterDried flowers sealed onto wooden coaster.


2019 Amazing Lanna Saa Paper Festival“Every bloom blossoms at the perfect moment.”


published on June 29, 2019.
Photos courtesy of Kristina Anderson.

About Author

JEREMY CHEN is Editor of Bloomsday Review, which he co-founded with Kristina Anderson. He is involved in the floral trade as a marketer of hardline goods. Jeremy is based in Irvine, CA.