Tuesday, January 24, 2017

In store - Katagami Stencils

I've just put quite a lot  of these  ‘miyako yuzen katagami’ in the shop and on my website . They date from the mid- 20th century and were sold in sets , sometimes with a frame,   for use at home or possibly  by small home-based textile businesses.  Like all katagami  they’re made  from Japanese paper treated with persimmon tannin to prevent rotting.   The designs are relatively simple  and apparently were often cut  by young,  less-experienced craftsmen who would cut around  ten sheets at a time.  They measure 26.5cm x 45cm. They’re  in excellent, sturdy  condition and are  suitable for  use  as stencils  or for framing, covering lamps etc. 

Monday, January 23, 2017

In store... Wooden Combs

Handmade  wooden combs for creating traditional Japanese hairstyles... 

Friday, January 13, 2017

Weaving Design Book

This small  (18cm x 25cm)  book of hand printed textile designs  is one of a  1903 series entitled 'textile large mirror' . This volume is 'weaving number 3' . It's a concertina style album  and at first looks like the designs have peen pasted in and hand-annotated but the designs and annotations  have actually been  printed directly on to the pages. There are  eleven double page designs (approx 19 x 28cm),  eleven  single page designs and seventeen  smaller designs.  

This album is now available for sale on my website. 

Thursday, January 12, 2017


I've just put this piece of boro on the website. It's a large, very old  futon cover  that's been opened out lengthwise.   The main panel is a piece of tsutsugaki.  Tsutsugaki  is created by drawing a rice-paste resist design on to the fabric with a tsutsu (a cone a bit like an icing bag).  It's then dyed in indigo and sometimes  other colours are added.   The back of the fabric has been extensively patched with  plain, striped and checked indigo - which of course is the bit that we  boro fans love! It dates from late 19th - early 20th century.  The tsutsugaki panel would originally  have been an expensive piece, not something peasant farmers or workers could have bought,  so there will have been an interesting story as to how to came to be in such a humble state.