We carry 3 types of paper for use in Arabic and Islamic calligraphy: Standard white layout paper, hand-dyed paper, and handmade ahar paper directly from the top hand papermakers in India, prepared for calligraphy by India's top calligrapher.
Our stock is always expanding, so check back often for new papers and sizes as they come in.
We are proud to announce that we are the first supplier in North America to offer ahar papers (also known as muqahar) made specifically for Islamic calligraphy. These papers are made by Zakir Hussein Kagzi, the oldest continually-operarting papermaking family in India.
After the paper is made in Rajasthan they are coated with starch and a sizing made from alum and egg whites. This creates a microscopic barrier between the paper fibers and the air, so ink doesn't penetrate the paper itself, and instead sits on the ahar. This allows for corrections and erasure. The paper is then burnished until it shines. This lengthy process is undertaken by Muqtar Ahmed, the founder of the Institute of Indo-Islamic Art & Culture in Bangalore and India's only calligrapher with an Ijazah in calligraphy from both the Ottoman school and the Iranian Calligrapher's Association.
These papers are thus prepared for calligraphy by calligraphers and are the only such papers available in America.
Please click the pictures for more information and photos of the paper up close.
Cotton paper with short fiber inclusions. Opaque, relatively heavy, light tone. Excellent for larger writing or kufic calligraphy. Available in full and quarter sheets.
Banana paper with jute fiber inclusions. Light white color with long light brown strands of jute. Very translucent. Excellent for small-scale writing. Available in full and quarter sheets.
This is a complete sampler set of our 5 varieties of ahar paper, They are all 11x14 and ready to write on.
This pack includes one sheet of:
- Hemp and cotton Kagzi paper
- Cotton with Short Fiber
- Smooth Banana
- Banana with Short Fiber
- Banana with Jute Leaf
Felt and chalk to prep paper immediately before writing included.
Arabic calligraphy is generally written on warm, cream-toned papers. Our hand-dyed paper has a semi-glossy finish, and holds the pen beautifully. After it dries, it is placed in a clamp and clamped overnight to prevent wrinkles and bucking. Ink can be erased off this paper with both knife and q-tip and ensures an almost complete erasure.
The whitepaper we carry has been selected as the best possible paper available in America through a battery of calligraphy tests, dye tests, paste application, wet/dry comparisons, ink absorption, among many other tests. More than 50 paper product lines were tested in this process, which lasted more than 3 months.
You can easily erase ink from this paper with a damp q-tip for a near-complete erasure. It takes clean corrections with a razor or the flat of a blade.