A few days ago we got in our first shipment of MT washi tapes, and it was glorious. I came out of Jon’s dark office, lights off for Naomi’s nap, squinting like a mole in the daylight, and what should be waiting on the table just for me but those white MT boxes.
Jon really dislikes when I’m there when we get in these new exciting shipments because I need to sink my hands in and swish them all around and start digging about to see everything at once, holding them up to the light like a sacrifice and then creating piles based on how much I like them but there is no other way to do it.*
MT is the original masking tape, or washi masking tape as we know it. When we were in Japan last summer, we visited the MT Lab, which was a formative experience, to say the least. MT started out making industrial tapes for various non-decorative purposes, and then one day all the stars aligned and an entirely new segment of stationery was born.
Much as stationery is a different beast in Japan—the normalized use of high quality pens and notebooks, the enormous varieties of gel pens and correspondence papers in every corner store—washi or masking tape is also very easily found everywhere. It’s a bit harder to find here in Canada, so we are thrilled to have begun bringing it in.
Japanese washi tape, and MT tape in particular, is very good. There’s no other way to put it. I remember walking in a mall here in Toronto and (of course) walking through Staples, and discovering a new decorative tape from one of the big US companies. How could I resist? Far be it for me to slander another tape, we’re all just trying to get along here, but let’s just say that Japanese washi tapes are in a different category.
Japanese tapes, made from washi paper, are thinner but also stronger. Some of them are slightly translucent while still being a paper tape that is quite strong. It’s a weird and lovely life paradox that the adhesive also tends to be both stickier, and easier to remove. It doesn’t peel from the edges prematurely or leave a residue when you peel it off.
And then of course, there are the designs. Japanese tape designs. Pineapples, flowers, simple, detailed, words, illustrations, watercolour, graphics, lemons. You just can’t compare.
We’ve got a small selection of solids, which are great neutrals. I particularly like these against the kraft refill in my Traveler’s Notebook. There is something very simple and clean about using solid tapes.
In any case, it was a marathon to take photos and get it all up online, but it’s all there now.
All the beautiful tapes! It will be another reason to visit the shop once we’re open again—browsing tapes in person is so much fun, and now we’ve got MT along with all the Classiky tapes. We still have no timeline yet, for our own shop, in terms of when we’re going to be opening back up, or what that will look like. We are watching and waiting.
*Other than Jon’s way which is to systematically unload boxes item by item, counting them twice and then checking lines off the packing list one at a time.