Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Katagami stencils

Here are some katagami stencils from my collection, including some of the stencils which I used images from in my last newsletter. These stencils are made from layers of washi paper which are treated with persimmon tannin and smoked to make them waterproof and durable. They are then finely cut by hand and in more open patterns fine silk threads are added between the layers of paper to stabilise the design.  Katagami stencils are used in a variety of  Japanese textile traditions including yuzen dyeing which usually involves building up a design with a selection of  stencils and colours in combination with other techniques,  komon ( 'small pattern') and chugata  ('medium stencil') kimono fabrics,  and indigo-dyed katazome (lit.stencil dyed) futon cover fabrics.  What these techniques have in common is the use of a rice-paste resist applied through a stencil either with a brush or special spatula.
These stencils all date from late-19th - early 20th century.  Most will have been used on kimono fabrics but the first one at least would more likely  have been used on an indigo futon cover. The rope and anchor designs were often used separately on futon covers which were part of a trousseau, as an alternative to the more traditional marriage imagery such as cranes, pines or turtles.
You can click on any of the images for a closer look.


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