An early 19th century katazome-dyed summer kimono
Length showing repeating pattern

Katazome (型染め) is a Japanese method of dyeing fabrics using a resist paste applied through a stencil, typically a rice flour mixture applied with a brush or a tool such as a palette knife. Unlike yūzen, stencils are used repeatedly to make a repeating pattern. Pigment is added by hand-painting, immersion dyeing, or both. The area of the fabric covered and permeated by the paste mixture resists the later application of dye, thus creating undyed areas within the fabric.

Katazome was first invented as an inexpensive and faster alternative to highly-patterned woven brocade fabrics. Over time, katazome evolved into a respected fibre art form of its own.

Thin fabrics dyed in the katazome style show the fabric's design on the back of the fabric, whereas thicker or more tightly-woven fabrics generally have a solid colour underside, typically indigo blue for cotton fabrics. Futon covers made from multiple panels of katazome fabric, if the stencils are properly placed and the panels joined correctly, can display a seamless stencilled pattern. Besides cotton, katazome has been used to decorate linen, silk and fabrics that are all-or partially-synthetic.

See also

  • Shibori
  • Yūzen
  • Serizawa Keisuke
  • Mika Toba
  • Tanmono

External links

Media files used on this page

Textile (Japan), 19th century (CH 18480403-2).jpg
Length of stencil resist (katazome) with ivory pattern on blue ground. Zigzag lattice enclosing floral forms.
Teinture naturelle Millepertuis 2.jpg
Skein of wool dyed with St John's Wort (hypericum). Medieval Festival of Sedan, May 20, 2007.
Summer Kimono (Yukata) with Illustrations from the 1802 novel 'Hizakurige' (Shank's Mare) by Ikku Jipensha (1765-1831) LACMA M.2006.37.6 (1 of 9).jpg

Japan, Edo period, early 19th century
Costumes; principal attire (entire body)
Cotton plain weave, stencilled paste-resist dyeing (katazome); silk crepe (chirimen) lining
Center back length: 55 1/2 in. (140.97 cm)
Costume and Textiles Deaccession Fund (M.2006.37.6)
Costume and Textiles