LIME, NATURAL PLANT FIBER AND SEAWEED
Shikkui is unique and traditional Japanese lime and seaweed plaster made of natural and ecological components, and it has been used in Japan for more than one thousand years. It was introduced to by Korean in the 6th. The original purpose was provide a canvas for the religious paintings. Then it was developed to allow large, uninterrupted earthen walls to be finished without joints, and as an earthen plastered walls protection from the rain erosion with its advanced anti-weathering and anti-efflorescence protection.
The Shikkui product are ranging from high-end decorative to cost-saving solutions. It allows a thin two-coat application, and their elasticity provides good stress-crack resistance. Shikkui’s components help retaining moisture and improves workability. Shikkui, or Japanese Lime Plaster, consists of hydrated lime, seaweed glue and natural plant fibers. Through a chemical reaction with the carbon dioxide in the air, hydrated lime returns to limestone and provides a recalcitrant, weather resistant and dust free finish. Seaweed glue is added to improve workability. The extracts of seaweed originating from area of Hokkaido actively contributes to the remarkably smooth workability and elasticity of Shikkui plasters, and the increase moisture retention makes plaster can be worked longer. Fine hemp fibers (or any other natural plant fiber) reduce cracking and allow for a thin application. Other components can be added to the Shikkui mixture: soybean oil (natural japanese soybean oil is included in some Shikkui finishes, improving workability and water repellent properties, becoming interesting for exterior applications), eggshells (a perfect example of “rapidly-renewable materials” that provides a big amount of calcium carbonate), or diatomaceous earth (unique type of mineral only found in Japan, highly porous and absorvent that makes it a very effective regulator of indoor humidity. The recipes are acording to local temperature and humidity.
Among of the outstanding sustainable features, environment and human health protection are two achieved results and the reasons why we can include Shikkui as an interesting natural building material. Shikkui is not only a natural material able to be used in construction. Environmentally speaking Shikkui is an efficient resource which needs low maintenance, a low material consumption in application and 100% recyclable as final product. Among the human health qualities Shikkui plaster includes safety values such us non toxicity, allergen free and fire resistant. And other antimicrobial qualities are achieved by its alkalinity potential. All these features make Shikkui a sustainable material and interesting to work with. The color and texture of a finishing can be individually customized using a variety of diluted color pigments, and the results are absolutely amazing!