Arirang News
  Updated : 2011-01-06 00:00:00 KST
Hanji, Paper of Unlimited Versatility!
Traditionally, Hanji was known to be useful only for arts and crafts. Lately, however, Hanji has proven its versatility and practicality, by transforming into high-tech speakers, fashionable clothing items and even barbeque grills. Let's take a closer look at Hanji's amazing transformations.

Hanji is Korea's traditional paper made from the bark of the paper mulberry tree. This alkaline paper boasts an exceptionally long life of a thousand years.

Korea's traditional paper, Hanji, is long-lasting alkaline paper made from the bark of the paper mulberry tree. Traditionally, Hanji was only used for calligraphy or as window coverings. Lately, however, it has become a popular material used for various purposes.

[Interview : An So-young, Reporter ] "Hanji, or the Korean traditional handmade paper has many unique characteristics, such as its light and soft texture which makes it easy to dye. Let's take a look at the new ways in which Hanji is being used nowadays."

[Reporter : ] "Have you heard about the speakers make with hanji[Interview : ] " Yeah I heard it is a really special thing."
[Reporter : ] "Speaker[Interview : ] "Wow, that's really interesting."
[Interview : ] "I want to listen if I have an opportunity."
[Interview : ] "I really want to listen to this speaker made from Hanji."

Surprisingly, the soothing music in this cafe is coming from speakers made with Hanji.

[Interview : Yang Gil-seop, Inventor of the Hanji speaker] "When glued to windows as coverings, a gentle tap or a blow of the wind through Hanji makes a clear, vibrant sound. I was looking for a way to make sounds without physically tapping the paper and came to invent the hanji speaker."

The Hanji speaker delivers deep and clear sounds by regulating even the most subtle vibration.

[Interview : Tom Konings, Customer
The Netherlands] "Wow, that was really good. These are very good speakers, very vibrant and clear sounds. I'm very impressed. It's impressive that technology can do this."

Hanji can be made as thin as 7mm.

[Interview : Yang Gil-seop, Inventor of the Hanji speaker] "When you rub a plastic sheet on your hair, the resultant static makes paper stick to the plastic. The speaker uses the same principle to make sounds."

By connecting positively-charged Hanji to an electrode, the Hanji speaker audibly transmits sounds, using the varying forces of attraction and repulsion between electric charges.

This customer is fascinated.

[Interview : Song Jin-nyeong, Customer] "There is a clear difference in that it catches even the most subtle sounds that are not very audible. It is fascinating that speakers can be made with Hanji."

The prices range from US$7,000 up to US$30,000.

[Interview : Reporter An So-young] "It's almost impossible to explain how it sounds through these Hanji speakers. I feel like I'm in music heaven. You've got to come here and listen to these speakers. It's amazing."

In this seemingly ordinary clothing store are found extraordinary clothes, which are not made with commonly known fabric, but Hanji!

[Interview : Lee Sam-yong, CEO ] "Hanji clothing manufacturing company. All of these items are made from Hanji, including the ties, knitted sweaters and socks."

Looking at them, it is hard to believe that these clothes are actually made of Hanji.

But a closer look reveals that it is indeed Hanji. Although the hanji fabric contains the same raw materials as the paper, it is processed differently.

[Interview : Lee Sam-yong, CEO
Hanji clothing manufacturing company] "We tend to think that hanji is just paper, but I realized that hanji is more than paper. It is actually fabric made from tree bark."

Fibers from the paper mulberry tree's bark are braided into strings and then used to make clothes. Hanji clothes are not only environmentally friendly but they are also light and absorbent.

Hanji clothing also comes in a wide variety of colors and patterns. Furthermore, the characteristic subtlety of Hanji adds an elegant and sophisticated charm.

[Interview : Reporter An So-young] "Isn't this such a pretty color[Interview :
Lim Hyeon-jeong, Customer] "Compared to conventional knitted items, it is lighter and more resistant to stretching. Would you like to try it on, too

At a busy restaurant

a sheet of paper on the grill catches the eye.

[Interview : ] "Are you sure it won't catch fire

The secret lies in its shape.

[Interview : Lee Gwan-mo, CEO
Hanji grill manufacturing company] "The circular pattern on the grill help absorb oil effectively, reducing smoke and smell when used indoors and making the meat taste clean and delicious."

The grill sheet utilizes Hanji's absorbing property to absorb oil, forming a protective layer on the surface.

The outstanding taste of the meat cooked on a Hanji grill sheet keeps customers coming back, even from far away.

[Interview : Kim Hyeong-seok, Customer] "Since Hanji absorbs much of the oil, it makes the food tastier. It's really good!"

Hanji's versatility is a treat to the ears, the eyes and even to the palate. With its practicality and the traditional beauty of Korean culture that it carries, Hanji's potential is truly promising.
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