There is some controversy over whether origami originated in China or in Japan. Indeed, both countries can boast a long history with this paper craft. There is a good possibility that the tradition of folding paper into shapes and special designs started in China. Paper was invented there and there is a good possibility that the tradition of folding it into shapes and special designs started there, perhaps as early as A.D.100. On the other hand, the word origami is Japanese, and historical records show that paper arrived in Japan during the sixth century. No one disputes the fact that the Japanese helped the craft evolve into an art form that eventually spread throughout the world.

Origami Lessons

Origami designs are based on specific folding techniques. Each type of fold has a name, which means that diagrams and instructions can be read and followed easily. To master origami, you must learn these basic folds: the valley, mountain, rabbit ear, squash, petal, reverse, crimp, and sink folds. These folds can be combined to create bases: the preliminary, bird, water-bomb, and fish bases. You will not need all the folds or bases for each origami design. However, you will encounter them all when you are learning simple origami.

Origami Money

Most origami projects use paper squares. A special type of origami design, however, uses paper money—specifically the U.S. currency, which is rectangular. Folding money into origami designs requires a special technique. Origami money projects can be as simple as a matchbox or as complex as elf boots.

Origami Records

Origami is so popular that people around the world compete for recognition by the Guinness World Records. Japan holds the record for the largest origami crane, with a wingspan of over 268 feet. During the 20th century, origami enthusiasts set records for the largest panda, owl, and horse. There are similar world record competitions for the longest origami train and snake, and for the smallest origamis. But how, exactly, does one make origami?

About the Author

Written by Michael Marcin of Crest Capital. When Mike was little, there was no such thing as the internet (or color TV). Today, he oversees all operations and finance for Crest Capital, a national equipment finance lender. Mike writes on a variety of business topics including equipment, vehicle, and software finance and associated tax implications.