The Italian "Carta Varese" is one of the most traditional European “fantasy-papers”. Its roots go back to original Rennaissance patterns used as decoration of chests, cradles, or combs. Carta Varese papers have been manufactured since the 17th century in Veneto becoming famous for their variety of colours and small-patterned motifs. In former times they were all hand-printed by means of a wooden printing block, bringing a mixture of tempera, dextrin and starch on the base paper. The block had to be pressed several times on a sheet in order to cover the format, but a typical blank edge on one side remained. Around the end of the 19th century lithography was introduced and by the mid 20th century the production changed to offset-printing, making the papers available to many more customers.
The printing process of Carta Varese is elaborate. The two-way and multi-coloured papers are printed in a single-colour machine. Every colour is printed separately, so the paper sheets run through the machine several times, a method reminiscent of silk-screen printing. This is the reason why the colours of Carta Varese are so bright and dense even though it is an offset print.
Carta Varese is not only beautiful but also substantial. The base paper for the huge variety of patterns is a 100 g/qm ivory paper, uncoated and acid free.
Carta Varese has a wide variety of applications, but first and foremost it is used as wrapping paper. Secondly, it is a very popular covering paper for boxes, albums, books and booklets. Sometimes it is called „cupboard paper“ as one can protect and decorate drawers and boards with it. It also serves as end paper in hiqh quality book productions. Additionally, Carta Varese is used as Origami, collage, decoration, doll's house material and in many other applications.