Vintage Katagami StencilsThese stencils for creating kimono fabrics are themselves works of art. Hand-carved with tiny knives or punched with a small awl tool, each was made as one layer of an often complicated and many-layered design. Each stencil (called katagami) was made from heavy, hand-made mulberry paper and coated with persimmon tannin for strength and water-resistance. Larger designs or those with floating elements were often stitched with silk threads or a silk screen that reinforced the design. Many of these stencils are still usable, but all of them merit display and admiration.
There's a video with each listing that shows how these were made. In the last few decades, more durable plastic and resin stencils have replaced these vintage beauties, which find their way to auction when older kimono shops clean out or close up.