Artist makes eco-friendly bags from ‘washable paper’

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 13 Aug 2019

Creativity in motion: Lim applying fabric paint on a bag made from kraft-tex paper.

KOTA KINABALU: Beau Lim Min Bee is no ordinary painter.

The 34-year-old, who describes herself as a “wearable arts artist”, incorporates “washable paper” in her bag designs.

Kraft-tex paper, which has water resistant and non-water resistant options, is a new material in the arts world but has been used for industrial purposes due to its durability.

In Lim’s case, she applies fabric paint on each washable paper bag and purse she makes, ensuring different designs so that each product is unique.

“From my research, there are only three factories in the world that produce washable kraft-tex paper – two in the United States and one in Germany, but they are all of different textures and quality.

“I opted for the one produced in Germany as it has a rougher feel and leather-like look.

“Kraft-tex paper is a more environmentally friendly option than leather. It is made from biodegradable natural fibre, ” she said.

She displayed her works at the bi-monthly Jesselton Artisan Market earlier this month.

Lim, who hails from Johor, moved to Sabah last October with her husband as it is his hometown.

She previously lived in Singapore for 10 years, where she worked as a graphic designer.

At the age of 26, she quit her job to become a full-time artist.

“At first I hand-painted T-shirts. When I turned 30, I started sewing bags like clutches, pouches and shoulder bags using canvas.

“I wanted to explore other materials besides fabric and after some research, I realised that kraft-tex paper was a good option.

“No one in Malaysia or Singapore is using kraft-tex. I have heard that some people in Hong Kong are using it to make bags, though no art is involved, ” she added.

“Many have doubts about the durability of kraft-tex paper, but they are amazed when I show them how tough it is after soaking it in water.

“Most people still go for my wearable arts canvas products as they are more traditional, ” said Lim.

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