Origami Heaven

A paperfolding paradise

The website of writer and paperfolding designer David Mitchell


The Lily / Iris
This page attempts to record what is known about the origin and history of the origami design known as the Lily. Please contact me if you know any of this information is incorrect or if you have any other information that should be added. Thank you.

The Iris is folded from an uncut hexagon and has three petals. The Iris is folded from an uncut square and has four.

In Japan

Diagrams for the Iris can be found in the Kan No Mado, written in 1845.

I do not know of any publication of the Lily in Japan before it appeared in Isao Honda's 'The World of Origami' published by Japan Publications Trading Company in 1965, although I assume previous instances may well exist.

In the West

Neither design appears to be part of the Froebelian repertoire and I cannot find it in any of the early books about Froebelian education.

As far as I know diagrams for the Lily first appear in Margaret Campbell's 'Paper Toy Making', published in London in 1936.