Wasli, also referred to as wasli paper, is a type of handmade paper used specifically for painting miniatures. It was devised in India, in the 10th century, and figures widely in Mughal-era painting.

Recent uses of Wasli (hand-prepared paper of varying thickness) range from classical/traditional way of painting with opaque water colors to building structures of varying kinds.[1]

Miniature Painting is a term used for making opaque/translucent water color paintings/illustrations on a small scale inspired from, Persian, or Pahari miniature schools[2] and Wasli is used as a canvas for making miniatures.

Wasli word came out of a Persian word Vasl which means Union, of coming together, oneness, etc.

Wasli is an acid-free paper and it has archival qualities. Paper eating insects can not eat it because of a poison copper sulphate/Neela Thootha used in the making of this paper. The glue to paste sheets together is also acid free made out of cooking flour. To use it for miniature paintings this layered paper is burnished with either smooth glass or a sea shell. This way the paper is shiny, smooth and have minimal perceptible grain.

A sheet of wasli is created by gluing together several layers of paper, then polishing them by hand until they are shiny and smooth, with minimal perceptible grain.[3]


  1. "Beyond the Page: The Miniature as Attitude in Contemporary Art from Pakistan". Pacific Asia Museum. Archived from the original on November 28, 2010.
  2. "The World of Pahari Miniature Painting". www.123himachal.com. Retrieved 28 May 2019.

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