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Item Large Ise Katagami, Japanese Katazome Stencil Used For Resist-Dyeing Fabric

It is known as Ise-katagami because the katagami folk craft launched in Ise Province (now Mie Prefecture) in the 8th century.

This katagami may have been used to dye either cotton or silk.

Katagami is the Japanese word for a handmade katazome paper stencil. Katagami is comprised of 2 Japanese words. The first word “kata” means “pattern or template” and the second “gami” represents paper. The term denotes in English paper template or "stencil".

The katagami was made of several sheets Japanese“washi”, a traditional handmade paper. The paper layers were infused with kakishibu (a natural reddish-brown organic preservative prepared from the fermented juice of unripened green persimmons) which enhanced its strength and stiffness.

A skilled pattern craftsman hand cut a design into the sheet of katagami paper. Because of the delicate paper patterns, a fine silk thread lattice was overlaid on the katagami so that the stencil is held in place on the fabric while the fabric goes through the dyeing process.

Pattern subjects were plants and animals that held important significance to the Japanese.
Late 1800s to Early 1900s
Pattern Size
Length - 38 inches, 96 cm
Width - 14 inches, 37 cm

Overall Size:
Length - 43 inches, 110 cm
Width - 17 inches, 43 cm
(Protected by shipping in mailing tube)
Very Good Condition
Note that this particular katagami has its silk netting attached to the surface, not sandwiched between paper layers.
Comment Katazome is a Japanese method of dyeing textiles with a resist paste which is applied through a paper stencil (katagami).

A sticky paste is made from rice flour and rice bran. This mixture is pushed through a katagami (paper stencil) on to a piece of fabric, the stencil is removed and the paste on the fabric is allowed to dry. Next, the fabric is coated by brush with a sizing solution of soybean liquid. When the fabric is completely dry, the dyeing color is applied by brush.
Then the sticky paste is washed away, and what remains is the stencil pattern in the fabric's original color and the surrounding area has absorbed color of the dye.

Japan is credited with developing their katazome dyeing technique to a level of unparalleled sophistication.

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