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 C.E.) the technique was developed as a true native craft. The paulownia tree motif is used in imperial crests.

Cultural context

fabric printing

Iconographic meaning

Paulownia tree: imperial emblem

Physical description

The rectangular light brown stencil has a cut design of three paulownia tree motifs with interconnecting scroll pattern. One register point is located in each quadrant.