katagami (Stencil)

About this object

History of use

The katazome method of dying fabric used a resist paste applied through a stencil; when the paste dried the stencil was removed and colour was applied by brush. The paste was then washed away leaving undyed areas to form pattern against coloured ground. Prior to the 16th century cut stencils were used to colour leather armour. However, during the Edo Period (1603-1868) the technique was developed as a true native craft.

Cultural context

fabric printing

Iconographic meaning

Cherry blossom: spring, feminine beauty, good luck, royal rank; plum: good luck, winter; bamboo: strength, longevity, good luck, endurance.

Physical description

The rectangular stencil has a cut design with two open books with bamboo and floral motifs upon the pages, surrounded by floral motifs. There are two register points on each side. A white sheet of paper is attached to the back of the stencil.