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What is urushi made from?

What is Urushi Lacquer? The varnish used in Japanese lacquer is made from the sap of the urushi tree, also known as the lacquer tree or the Japanese varnish tree (Rhus vernacifera), which mainly grows in Japan and China, as well as Southeast Asia. Japanese lacquer, 漆 urushi, is made from the sap of the lacquer tree.

Is urushi toxic?

Due to a toxic element within the urushiol component, if urushi comes into direct contact with the skin it can create an irritation much like poison ivy. However there are some people who have no reaction to contact with urushi.

What is urushi coating?

Urushi sap has been used for coating materials, and is known as urushi, oriental lacquer, in East Asia over the past 5000–7000 years [3]. Urushi coating provides solvent resistance, excellent toughness, and beautifies the products. In Japan, traditional techniques are used for preparing several types of urushi.

Is varnish tree poisonous?

varnish trees …to an Asian tree (Toxicodendron vernicifluum), related to poison ivy, that is highly irritating to the skin. On being tapped, the tree exudes a thick, milky emulsion that was possibly used as the first drying oil; it has the peculiar property of drying only in a moist atmosphere.

How long does urushi last?

Final coats of Japanese urushi can take 14 days before they can be touched and although the surface may be dry, it is still too soft to be handled without risk of damaging the new coat. It takes a full year to really harden into the durable lacquerware that lasts for decades.

Is urushi lacquer safe?

Fully hardened Urushi lacquer is very stable and strong. It is able to withstand alkali, acid, and alcohol, and also being able to resist temperatures of over 300 C – 570 F. It is also resistant to molds and mildews.

Is urushi lacquer Food Safe?

Urushi is also not bothered by hot or cold water, acids, or bases––even a very strong chemical like acetone can’t damage its surface. Another benefit of the kintsugi repair method is that it is 100 percent food-safe.

Is urushi waterproof?

Caution: Urushi lacquer is actually the sap of a tree that grows in East Asia. It is a natural substance that forms a clear, hard and waterproof surface when dried properly. Urushi contains a compound that can cause a reaction similar to poison ivy.

What are lacquers used for?

Lacquer is a modern wood finish that is commonly used on high end furniture. It is fast drying, impervious to water, and maintains its transparency as it ages. Lacquer finishes are popular because they don’t yellow with age, protect well against liquids, and require very little maintenance.

What is Chinese lacquer?

Lacquer was a popular form of decoration and protective covering in ancient China. It was used to colour and beautify screens, furniture, bowls, cups, sculpture, musical instruments, and coffins, where it could be carved, incised, and inlaid to show off scenes from nature, mythology, and literature.

Does urushi scratch?

Although the surface is resistant to wear from every day use, it is not impervious to scratches.

How do you remove urushi?

The urushi smell will gradually disappeared. However, if you want to remove the smell quickly, it is ok to wash with warm water and a non-abrasive mild dishwashing soap. Q.

How tall does an urushi tea tree grow?

The trees are cultivated and tapped for their toxic sap, which is used as a highly durable lacquer to make Chinese, Japanese, and Korean lacquerware. The trees grow up to 20 m tall with large leaves, each containing from 7 to 19 leaflets (most often 11-13).

How did the Urushi tree get its name?

The sap contains the allergenic compound urushiol, which gets its name from this species’ Japanese name urushi . Urushiol is the oil found in poison ivy that causes a rash. A caustic, toxic sap, called urushiol, is tapped from the trunk of the Chinese lacquer tree to produce lacquer.

Is the tea from the Urushi tree poisonous?

They drank a special tea made from the bark of the Urushi tree, which coats the inside of the body with a lacquer-like substance. The tea caused vomiting and a rapid loss of bodily fluids, but most importantly, made the body too poisonous to be eaten by maggots.

Why is urushi lacquerware important to the Japanese?

In fact, traditional urushi lacquerware is so durable and of such high quality that pieces hundreds of years old retain their glossy luster even today! Urushi pieces are symbols of patience and resilience, two terms often associated with the Japanese themselves.