Urushi is very precious to the Japanese. Antiquity discovered in Japan dated to over 9000 years ago. Japanese' use and application technique of this tree sap has reached its height that none other countries could match.
URUSHI Japanese Lacquer
The Gift from Nature
20th century industrialization and technological advancement has brought us abundant new materials. Most of which are synthetically engineered in lab and mass-produced in factories, using artificial material and chemicals. 21st century is the era when we started to see the impact that modernization has brought: pollution, mass depletion of resources, climate change, toxic-intake by human and animal etc...
Revisiting the ancient intelligence of Urushi lacquer cultivation and usage, we realized there is a lot this magical material has been providing. It is no doubt THE gift from mother nature.
What is Urushi?
Urushi (Japanese lacquer) is a natural tree sap from the urushi tree. Before the age of Super-Glue and epoxy, people has been using this organic material as a strong adhesive and coating material. When in its raw state, urushi lacquer is toxic to touch, the natural enzyme causes allergic reaction on the skin for most people. Howvever, after natural polymerization process, this material stabilizes and becomes water-repellant and extremely durable with anti-bacterial and deodorizing properties. The longer a lacquerware has been used, the more rich the luster finish would become.
100% all-natural. It is a magical gift from nature.
Uses of Japanese Lacquer
In Japan, lacquer is commonly used as adhesive and finish material for utensils, furnitures and architectural works. Doctrines from as early as 14th century, also recorded urushi lacquer as herbal medicine for both internal and external use. In rural towns of Japan where urushi are cultivated, the plant is also served as local delicacy. Ask the urushi foresters and they would recommend "urushi tempura"!
Properties of Japanese Lacquer
When in its raw state, urushi tree sap is volatile. The enzyme actively oxidates and ferments.
It's main ingredient URUSHIOL (also found in poison oak) is known to give people allergic reaction if in contact with skin. However, after natural polymerization (hardening), it stabilizes to become a solid and extremely durable material.
The ideal condition for polymerization is 25-30˚C at 70-80% humidity. High humidity speeds up th