Katagami (型紙) (genre )



"Literally 'paper pattern': Mulberry paper specially treated with astringent persimmon juice cut into intricate and delicate patterns to be used as stencils for fabric designs. Known since the 12th century these stencils were used to produce katazome. Ukiyo prints are rife with such dye-resist kimonos."

Quoted from: printsofjapan.com


Dyeing with paper stencils is thought to have begun in the Kamakura and Northern and Southern Courts periods (c.1185-1392). Katagami stencils were primarily made in the Jike and Shiroko areas of Seishu (Ise) province, i.e., present-day Suzuka in Mie Prefecture, where craftsmen still continue to make Katagami. A variety of small knives are used to cut out the patterns in the "jigami" (uncut stencil paper), which is made from sheets of Mino paper fused together with persimmon juice. There are four techniques, "tsukibori" (piercing cut), "kiribori" (hole puncturing), "dôgubori" (motif cutter) and "shimabori or hikibori" (cut stripes), either used singly or in combination. The patterns are sometimes delicate, sometimes bold, and the stencils themselves merit appreciation. As tools used in the process of dyeing, however, Katagami were shoved into a corner of the workshop when they had served their purpose, as they wore out or the designs carved into them went out of fashion. They were not recognized as works of art. Until recently, they were little known in Japan, and if collected at all, they were at best stored as miscellaneous items in museums."

Quoted from: Annual Report of Mitsubishi Ichikogan Museum, Tokyo: April 2012 - March 2013, p. 7.