Paper Geishas - Joanne Doherty
Vintage Japanese Katagami.
Katagami (stencil paper) are the precursor to today’s screen printing, each katagami is made from layers of the inner bark of the Mulberry tree, laminated with the juice of just ripe persimmon juice. The cut stencils were supported by fine fibres of silk, or hair, including human hair.
They were used to produce designs on fabric using a resist dyeing technique called, katazome.
Each stencil represents a single stage in the complex creation of a kimono.
Just one stencil could take an artist weeks to painstakingly hand cut with dozens to a hundred stencils required to complete a kimono design.
Each katagami holds a secret language that underpins the craft of kimono.
Designs of birds, insects and flowers each have their own cultural significance whether symbolising peace, longevity, strength or auspicious beginnings.
The craft behind these detailed stencils has been nurtured over centuries and almost eliminated by the rise in popularity of western clothing in Japan and the mass production of fabrics and fast fashion.
Contact us for the range of katagami currently available.