On the occasion of the hundredth birthday of mt masking tape, the adhesive tape born in Japan in 1923, we retrace the main steps that made the company an international reference

It has been one hundred years since the Japanese Toshiro Kamoi started with Kamoi Kakoshi Co. LTD of Kurashiki, the trade of adhesive tapes today famous all over the world due to their decorative characteristics and responding to the name of mt masking tape.

The success of the brand that determined the great boom of washi tape is the result of an evolutionary path, today as specialized as it is diversified but extremely recognizable.

Created to meet a specific need, such as the desire to have insect traps available in the 1960s, over the years it has become a versatile product with numerous opportunities for use and application, ranging from from the world of stationery to the personalization of spaces and interiors.

Thanks to the multiple collaborations with artists and designers from all over the world, the original washi tape has become an icon that furnishes, and at the same time responds to an unmistakable functional quality.

The first features between 1923 and 1960

The company, which will turn 100 in 2023, was started in 1923 when the then Kamoi Fly Paper Manufacturing - original name - started its production of used adhesive tapes as insect traps. An idea, therefore, born from a simple necessity.

Originally, the tape was produced in a full-fledged factory specializing in the industrial sector. Starting in the 1960s, washi paper tape arrived in this sector with a very specific function: after being presented as an adhesive insect trap, its first evolution can be read in the use industrial, in support of interventions such as the painting of buildings, cars and furniture.

The tape that meets art

2008 is the year of the great turning point for the Japanese company.

Three ladies from Tokyo – a collage artist, a gallery owner who in those years exhibited the former's works, and the manager of the coffee corner inside the space – fell in love with tape, interpreting this product as a promising tool also on the artistic front and decidedly more multifaceted than mere industrial use.

Thus began the story of mt masking tape as we know it today. The three women tried to play with the great creative versatility of washi tape, discovering an undoubtedly transversal artistic declination.

Different colors, patterns and thicknesses contributed over the years to increasing the creative spirit of washi tape, which became so appreciated all over the world, and which still continues to be used to decorate objects, walls, furniture.

mt masking tape: infinite faces to decor

The original washi paper tape from Kurashiki (Japan) is available today in over a thousand delications.

The material with which it is made, a special rice papertypically Japanese, makes it resistant and reliable despite being extremely thin. Its excellent adhesiveness is instead given by a non toxic glue, which guarantees that each tape is both well performing and easily removable, without leaving tracks.

It is a product that lends itself to infinite creative interpretations: the little ones like it because it allows them to decorate the walls with abstract motifs or figures; the older ones appreciate it for its ease of application but also of removal, once used even only for a special event.

mt house for the rooms

More recently, the company has also introduced a specific line for the home: in this case the adhesive tapes are characterized by larger dimensions, in 5 cm and 10 cm formats.

The different patterns are designed to decorate furniture, ceramics, floors and walls in the home without damaging the surfaces, thanks to the Japanese washi paper that sticks and detaches without leaving any residue.

The mt CASA line adapts to different types of surfaces, from glass to wood, thus allowing you to customize walls, windows and furniture.

mt masking tape is also suitable for artistic creations, because it is simple to use and can be applied on paper. Values that make him an excellent candidate also for art education during early childhood and for people with disabilities.

In 2008 mt masking tape was awarded the Good Design Award by the Japan Institute of Design Promotion, the prize that recognizes its excellence all over the world.