The Public Paperfolding History Project

Index Page


The Twist Box

This page attempts to record what is known about the history of the design I call the Twist Box. 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.

When made of leather, twist boxes of this kind are sometimes called Moroccan Purses.


In China (and in publications by Chinese authors)

Twist Boxes are sometimes found forming the top layer of Multiple Layer Collapsible Boxes or Zhen Xian Bao. The example shown below is undated.



Diagrams for this design appear as 'Heron' in 'Zhe zhi tu shuo' (Illustrated Paperfolding), compiled by Gui Shaolie, which was published by the Commercial Press in Shanghai in Ming guo 3 (1914).

The text says: 'Take a square piece of paper. Take another 4 times long rectangle paper and glue it up like Figure 1. Fold it diagonally into a plane as shown in Figure 2 and you are done.'

The diagrams appear to show a square-section tube produced from a 4x1 strip. Presumably the single square is blintzed then glued in place to create the base of the box, which is then twisted along the diagonals of its sides to collapse it flat.