Katagami Stencils

Japanese stencils, known as katagami, are heavy washi paper stencils coated with kakishibu (persimmon tannen for strength and moisture-resistance).   Katagami are hand-carved by artisans who make their own blade and punch tools and were trained by master craftsmen, so they are a work of art as much as the kimono fabric they create. The Japanese stencil process is called katazome, which can create tiny, intricate, single-color patterns or large-scale, multi-colored designs.  These artistic beauties are still usable today, but they are also authentic Japanese cultural artifacts that merit display and admiration.