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katazome – Japanese stencil dyeing

May 25, 2012

katazome was my introduction to  Japanese textiles, 30 years ago

I was delighted to find it on the list of techniques we would explore in the workshop

we started at the beginning, designing and cutting a small paper stencil


the stencil paper, shibugami, is several sheets of  handmade paper laminated together with persimmon juice


the resist paste is applied to the cut out areas, something that has to be kept in mind when designing the pattern














to strengthen a design with narrow bridges a fine silk net can be fixed to one side with a paint like substance



the gauze must be stretched only in the warp direction and care must be taken when applying the paint to prevent clogging the mesh

when dyeing in indigo the resisted cloth can only be dipped until the paste starts to deteriorate. We each printed enough repeats of our pattern to share.

we travelled to the workshop/studio of a master katazome dyer and his family – and I lost my camera!*#?  and found it 2 days later.

for a picture tour and explanation go to Japanese Textile Workshops , specifically the April 26th entry

and La Griccia, May 8th entry.


my sample of kimono cloth from Noguchi-san’s studio, I graded the dips in the indigo vat 

a wonderful reference, in English , for stencil dyeing techniques.




3 Comments leave one →
  1. May 29, 2012 4:22 am

    let me know of the outcome. have that on my mind too although not for stencils (famous last words)


  2. May 26, 2012 5:24 am

    oh, my. years and years ago i purchased a piece of treated kozo…must dig it out and take a look!


    • May 26, 2012 7:07 am

      Velma – I intended to bring some katagami (treated kozo) home and then it got forgotten in the confusion. Going to try treating my own this summer when I start dyeing with kakishibu.


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