Rice paper is long lasting and no backing material is needed.
But be careful, because shoji is paper screen, and paper may be
torn. Japanese usually reinstall shoji paper at least once every
year. To remove old shoji paper, moisten glued area with water
and wait a small amount of time before wiping it clean. Stay away
from using wallpaper stripper as it may strip the finish off shoji.
You can use wallpaper glue for shoji paper, but home-produced
rice paste is better regarding staining.
If you really want to have nice shoji think about putting your
shoji paper on in flat strips, instead of putting it on as one
big portion. (Any way, it is hard if you have any kids or cats
at home!). Your wooden shoji frame should have 6 straight rows
of blocks. Instead of sticking on one large portion of paper on
the back which all has to be taken off and redone a year from
now, stick on the paper in 6 parallel strips. Perhaps in a year's
time you can get away with redoing only, say, three of the rows,
rather than the whole thing. And always buy what you want. For
example, if you have smaller holes, then you can buy little flower
shaped "patches". Or you can scratch your own "patches" out of
origami paper and glue them on, and allow yourself or others to
try the creative input!
Shoji paper is beautifully made by expert artificers and produced
mostly in Asia. Each Shoji is crafted from hard wood with your
choice of well-built fiberglass white 'rice paper' backing, bamboo
or cane. They are usually double hinged to allocate flexibility
as an unconnected room / space divider. They should be carefully
shipped in non-breakable boxes, with a faux 'crate' fixed firmly
with full sized fiber board panels, so that they will arrive securely
right to your home! Shoji paper is oversized and multiple sliding
door sets should be carefully shipped by truck.
The single sided shoji paper are the most economical, solid wood
room dividers with handset carpentry lattice that we can see on
one side, against a powerful fiberglass, crack resistant and light
permeable. The wood is usually nice to see. These have folded
hinges so that you can arrange your screen in a variety of positions.
There are economical single sided shoji papers that are great
for those on a budget, or for unimportant areas. More formal areas
may be better matched with the higher end figures. Note that some
designs have a solid panel bottom kickboard, which creates better
stability, and puncture fighting- great for households with kids
An Oiled Rice Paper Umbrella, Japan
If shopping for shoji paper, you will see that some
is made from a special reinforced shoji paper called Warlon, or
Taf Top which is a special type of reinforced shoji paper that
is about 5 times hardier than the standard fiberglass shoji paper.
It has a reinforced layer to avoid deflates, but yet still pass
light from side to side. It is not resistant to breakage however,
as no shoji paper is. Some Chinese fabricates do offer non-traditional
plastic shoji, but some feel that this detracts from the yielding,
genuine Japanese feel, and do not propose plastic.