A Brief History Of Origami And Types Of Bases

If you have an interest in learning origami papercraft, you might wanna know a brief history of origami and some of the basics. It’s important to know the stories behind something you want to learn.

Origami history is pretty challenging to unfold because it involves ancient stuff. Many people believe that paper was invented in China around 105 A.D.

However, the paper folding art of origami was first discovered by Japanese. People in Japan started using paper in the sixth century. They discovered the artistic technique of folding paper that is called Origami.

The Definition of Origami

history of origami tagalog
Source: parentcircle.com

Before going too deep into the history, you probably wanna know the meaning of Origami itself. The name was popular as Orikata which means in Japanese as folded shapes. Then, it became popular with the name “Origami” in 1880.

The word “origami” comes from the Japanese words oru and kami. Oru means to fold and kami means paper. It’s not exactly known the reason why the name changed. Many believe that “origami” is simple and easier than orikata.

That Popularity of Origami

history of origami quest
Source: superprof.co.uk

Nowadays, a lot of people put interest in the idea of learning origami. One of the main reasons is the craft supply. You will only need a piece of paper to create an artistic piece of craft. It’s the cheapest craft supply you can get from the store.

Actually, this paper folding art was originally performed for the elite back in the past. It was mostly used by Monks as part of the religious ritual. Origami was also used by many Japanese in various formal ceremonies like a wedding reception. It became a meaningful element of the ceremonies.

As the price of paper became cheaper, more people began to learn the art by making figures as gifts. The origami folding method was also used as an educational tool because the process is quite relevant to mathematics.

In 1797, the first book about Origami was published. It was titled Sembazuru Orikata which means Thousand Crane Folding. The book was written by Akisato Rito that tells more about the cultural customs than the origami instructions.

One interesting story that this book covers are the traditional story in Japan that says a thousand origami paper cranes can give one special wish. You should read the book if you wanna know more history.

The Modern Variations of Origami Craft

history of origami ppt
Source: superprof.co.uk

Originally, the origami project doesn’t involve cutting or gluing. You would only deal with folding and folding until it’s finished.

However, the standard method of origami has loosened over the years. These days, you can find some origami models that need some gluing and cutting.

It will be very helpful to improve stability for the craft. The main material has also evolved quite a bit. You don’t have to use an origami paper to make an origami craft. You can use any paper that can fold easily such as typing paper, wrapping paper, and various forms of paper.

If you’re currently following the trend of “green” crafting, the paper material option can be unlimited. You can use papers that would otherwise be discarded such as newspapers, junk mail, typed papers, and more.

As a unique gift, you can make an origami craft out of a piece of money. Just choose the papers you like based on what kinds of origami models you want.

European Version of Origami

history of fortune teller origami
Source: pinterest.com/dorannay

According to history, origami was invented by the Japanese. However, there are also other versions of folding paper art from other continents like Europe. The paper folding tradition in Europe was developed in the 11th century when the paper was first introduced there.

It was most notably in countries like Germany and Spain. The folding paper pattern in Europe is different from Origami. Europeans tend to use 45-degree folds. That’s why their version has the geometric shape more obvious than origami.

Types of Origami Bases

In making all the paper folding crafts, you will need to know the bases. A lot of origami models will begin with a well-organized base. So, it’s great to learn the basics before you go for more advanced origami crafts. Here are some origami base forms to know:

1. Shawl Fold

history of origami paper boats
Source: thesprucecrafts.com

It’s the common first step that you can find in many origami models especially the easy ones. You can just fold the paper in half diagonally to make a triangle.

2. A Blintz Base

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Source: origami.guide.com

You can make it by folding each corner of the square paper to the center. The form would resemble a pancake-like food called a blintz.

3. Helmet Base

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Source: epicorigami.blogspot.com/

This simple base is done by folding the paper in half diagonally to form a triangle. Then, bring both corners, left and right, down to form a diamond shape.

4. Origami Kite

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Source: ytimg.com

This base looks like a kite. It begins with the white side of origami paper face up. Then, fold one diagonal and crease it firmly. Unfold it and fold the right and left lower side into the vertical center to finish.

5. Balloon Base

history of origami fortune teller
Source: origami.guide.com

Many origami models start with this base. This base is also called a waterbomb base. It’s like making a triangle base with a whole new folding technique.

6. Square Base

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Source: pinimg.com

This one is also called a basic flower form. The making of this square base is exactly the opposite of forming a balloon base.

7. Origami Bird Base

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Source: ytimg.com

It’s like a square base but it’s got two petal folds. It’s named bird base because it’s the base to make an origami crane which is the most popular origami model. Many advanced origami enthusiasts will recommend beginners to simply create a bird base.

8. Organ Base

history of origami and mathematic
Source: ytimg.com

You can make this base by folding the paper in half two times. Crease them and unfold. Then, fold the right and left sides to meet in the middle crease. Open the flaps and flatten them with your finger.

9. Boat Base

history of chinese origami
Source: epicorigami.blogspot.com

It’s the modified version of the blintz base. This one involves creating the paper along with the four corners diagonally. Then, collapsing and opening the paper until it resembles the left form.


Now you know about the history of origami and some base types of it. Let’s make this post more meaningful by starting your origami projects. It won’t take a lot of your time to learn. With just a piece of paper, you can create a masterpiece.

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