Jungshi Handmade Paper Factory

In a simple one-story building in Thimphu’s southern suburbs, rough natural fibers are extracted from the bark of two species of highland shrubs and slowly transformed into beautiful translucent sheets of paper. This is the Jungshi Handmade Paper Factory. Paper-making is a skill that has long been nurtured in Bhutan, and for centuries this cottage industry produced enough for domestic and religious uses. The Jungshi Handmade Paper Factory was established in 1990 in an effort to manufacture these delicate sheaves of paper commercially, for sale in Bhutan and beyond. Visitors can watch the factory’s workers as they soak, boil and clean the fibers before pounding them to a pulp and rhythmically swirling them onto bamboo screens. The sheets are spread out to dry before being cut into journals, glued into paper bags or shaped into lampshades, making it very tempting to take a sample of the factory’s wares home with you.