Back to Basics Part 2: Using German Crepe PaperMay 22, 2023
German crepe paper is one of the first crepes that I tried and fell in love with as a paper artist. It comes in a variety of weights, including the very interesting to use doublette or double-sided. There are so many ways to get creative with German crepe, and as part of my Back to Basics series for paper florists, I want to dive into everything you need to know about using and buying German crepe paper.
First off, did you know that Werola is just the distributor of German Crepe Paper? The company that makes the paper we all are familiar with is manufactured by a company called Seaman Paper in Germany. Seaman Paper has a storied history dating back to its establishment in the early 20th century. Known for its expertise in manufacturing high-quality paper products, they’ve been a trusted name in the industry, consistently delivering excellence and innovation.
If you want to learn more about the background and use of German crepe, be sure to stay tuned to Season 6 of Paper Talk. We have exciting plans for discussing this amazing paper.
Now, on to the whats, whys, and hows!
German Crepe Paper Weights and Types
German crepe paper comes in many different weights like the Italian crepe that I recently discussed.
The heaviest is the 160 gsm and comes without the grain lines! So if the Italian crepe paper lines bothers you, consider this crepe paper line. Their 160 gsm color line is not as expansive as the Italian, coming in only at 67 colors, compared to Cartotecnica Rossi that has over 200 colors. There are still a lot of shades to work with, but I hope they will expand their color lines in the future.
Next up, many paper florists love the double-sided crepe paper, sometimes called doublette or Gloria. With its laminated construction, it enables paper artists to explore both sides, allowing for unique color combinations and reversible designs. It is perfect for embellishments with contrasting colors.
The fine and extra fine weights are ideal for more intricate details. Did you know that the fine is actually a lighter weight than the extra fine? The extra fine is also what is laminated to create the double-sided crepe.
Seaman paper also produces a line called Aquarola that is colorfast! It’s a bit hard to find. They have a beautiful soft brown 4665 that I have been trying to find, but no one in the states carries it. If you happen to know where I can find this crepe, please let me know. I’m always testing out new browns for my flowering branches.
Another crepe that I would love to acquire is the Rainbow fine crepe that is colorfast and lightfast! They also have a great metallic crepe paper line as well with colors like blue, green, red, and a beautiful array of light and dark golds.
Why You Should Use German Crepe
So why choose German crepe paper for your paper flowers or other artistic endeavors? Here are the reasons why I reach for this paper when I’m creating:
First and foremost, let's talk about the amazing quality of this crepe paper. It's renowned for its exceptional craftsmanship. You can trust that you're working with a material that offers quality and durability. When I’m putting so much effort into creating a paper flower, I want something that will help me reach that exciting realism that the best paper blooms can achieve. German crepe is one of my go-tos for this.
As I mentioned, German crepe paper doesn’t have as many colors as the Italian, but there are still a lot to choose from. You can find a range of colors from soft pastels to bold and intense tones. The double-sided paper can be really fun to create with as an artist, as having a different color on one side can offer exciting contrast or subtle hints of difference.
For paper artists, we know that flexibility and ease of use are paramount. German crepe is incredibly easy to shape, fold, and manipulate, allowing you to bring intricate details and realistic textures to your paper flowers. Whether I’m crafting delicate petals or creating intricate floral compositions, this crepe paper empowers me to express my artistic vision with precision.
Now there are some drawbacks that you should be aware of. One thing to keep in mind is the limited availability of German crepe paper in certain places. In particular, you will probably be able to find the most popular colors and weights, but being able to purchase some of the more rare varieties I mentioned above can prove difficult. As with any product, there are limits to distribution and its popularity can result in reduced availability. However, don't let that discourage you! It’s well worth the effort to obtain. Check out the resources below for where to buy and explore specialty stores in your area. Trust me, the hunt will be worth it!
Another aspect to consider is the price range of German crepe paper. While its quality justifies the price, it may fall into a slightly higher range compared to other crepe paper options. I view this as an investment rather than a drawback, but we creative small business owners do have to keep our bottom line in mind when purchasing supplies. I love saving my scraps from high-end projects that justify a more expensive crepe, so that I can experiment and let my creativity fly later without worrying about the cost as much.
How to Use German Crepe Paper
As a paper florist, there are numerous ways you can harness the beauty and versatility of German crepe paper.
One technique I love to explore is water washing German crepe paper, particularly the double-sided variety, where two extra fine crepe papers are laminated together. This manipulation creates fascinating textures and effects. You can achieve this by using various adhesives such as glue, liquid or spray, or even pellon fusible webbing. Be sure to use double-sided fusible webbing so that both sides of the crepe papers fuse together.
Coloring German crepe paper opens up a world of possibilities. This crepe readily absorbs color, allowing you to experiment with a wide range of mediums. I love adding color with alcohol inks, delicate washes of watercolor, more opaque gouache and acrylics, precise watercolor pencils, vibrant alcohol markers, or soft blended PanPastels. As always, experiment and see what methods work best for you!
Unleash your creativity and explore. There are no wrong answers in art, so try something new!
Where to Buy German Crepe
As I mentioned earlier, Werola is the distributor or Seaman Paper German crepe, which is obviously made in Germany. For me in the U.S., these are the best places that I’ve found to purchase it.
One of my favorite places to purchase German crepe paper is Rosemille.com. Bob and Michelle are the owners of this fun and creative shop. You can find many crepe papers and paper floral supplies here. You can also listen to their interview on Paper Talk.
Another new place that started to carry crepe paper is Petals and Pearls Flowers. Check out their website at www.petalsandpearlsdesign.com. Carol started out as a floral designer and fell in love with paper flowers and how to get these paper flower supplies in the U.S. She’s going to be a guest for Paper Talk Season 6 this year, so stay tuned to learn more about her!
I would love to hear if you know of any other places to purchase German crepe in the U.S., or if you have suggestions for where to buy it in your country. Leave a comment or tag me on Instagram.
In conclusion, German crepe paper is truly a treasure for paper florists, offering a multitude of possibilities to enhance your creations. With its exceptional quality, durability, and meticulous craftsmanship, it elevates the authenticity and realism of your paper flowers.
German crepe paper has become a staple in my paper floristry journey, and I'm thrilled to share it with you as part of my Back to Basics series. Whether you're a seasoned paper artist or just starting out, this versatile paper will enable you to craft with confidence, express your artistic vision with precision, and create masterpieces that inspire and delight.
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