Wet Folding Origami

Wet folding origami is a relatively new way of folding paper. It was developed by origami master Akira Yoshizawa and it involves moistening the paper before you fold it. The resulting model has a softer, textured look with gentle curving lines. Gilad’s web site shows the difference between a regular origami dog and a wet fold origami dog. Wow! [Puppy created by Francisco Javier Caboblanco; photo by Gilad Aharoni]

Wet folding origami is not difficult, but it does take practice. Here are some tips for success.

  1. Practice folding the model the regular (dry) way before trying it wet. You need to be very familiar with the folding sequence because you will need to fold quickly when the paper is wet.
  2. Use a spray bottle or a wet cloth to moisten the paper so that it is damp. The paper should not be dripping wet. Having the right amount of water is crucial – this will take a bit of trial and error.
  3. Fold the model quickly with a sure hand. Press down with fingertips, not with fingernails. Avoid folding, unfolding, and refolding: this will cause the paper to tear or fray.
  4. Allow the model to dry completely. Avoid handling and repositioning the model to make it better. Just let it dry. If the model unravels before it dries, use devices (such as elastic bands or clothespins) to preserve the model’s shape.
  5. Repeat with different types of paper until you get the look you desire. In general, thick paper, such as elephant hide, works best. Robert Lang has a good article on Wet-Folding Papers.




masks Once you’ve wet folded an origami model, you will find that the ‘look’ of your model comes from molding the paper. After a while, one must wonder if this is still paper folding or is it paper sculpturing. This is particularly true with models where there is little folding and much molding. Read David Lister’s thoughts on Paper Folding & Paper Sculpture.
Of particular interest are the wet folding origami masks inspired by the work of Eric Joisel. Incrediable paper masks can be seen in the sites of Russell Sutherland and Annie Pidel. Photos by R Sutherland.

Wet Folding Links


Wet Folding Diagrams
There are no diagrams for wet folding – this is because any model can be wet folded! Most people wet fold animal models. Go to the Free Origami Diagrams section of this web site to pick and choose a model.

  • read about another type of origami