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

Chrysanthemum: longevity, sun, autumn, royal emblem; peonies: royal emblem, prosperity, summer.

Physical description

The rectangular stencil has three cut designs of peonies and chrysanthemum motifs with a quarter chrysanthemum in each corner. One register point is located in each quadrant. There are patches of dye on stencil and a fan shaped hole cut in one corner.