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"Playful Plaid" Katagami Stencil
vintage katagami stencil

Alternative Views:

Fanciful Kanji
Our Price: $99.00
Material: Paper
Length: 48"
Width: 18"
Condition: Excellent Vintage

Quantity in Stock:1
Product Code: 0619STENCIL11

This vintage – possibly antique – katagami stencil was likely used to create tenugui - Japanese cotton hand towels. Tenugui have been made for decades as sight-seeing souvenirs or as promotional or thank-you gifts given by companies, municipalities, banks and the like to employees and patrons. Tenugui stencils are much like the ones used to make kimono, but these are longer and each is used to make a full length tenugui. The dye process is also different from kimono fabric dyeing – see the videos below for a fascinating look into this traditional craft.

This stencil features a background plaid design with three circles floating along - a large one at the center and two smaller ones at each end. The chunky kanji characters are different in each circle, and unfortunately neither we nor our Japanese suppliers could decipher the meaning. It's likely to refer to the name of the company that gave it or an auspicious wish for the receiver.

Katagami are cut by hand, either with a free-hand knife or a sharp and tiny punch tool. They are made from one or two sheets of heavy washi paper covered with persimmon tannin to add strength and moisture resistance. (For delicate designs, two sheets of paper were stacked and cut together, then a thin silk screen was placed between them before fusing the papers together with the tannin.)

Nowadays, more durable plastic versions are used, but these older paper stencils are often still usable in addition to being a work of art. See photo example of a framed stencil. Email us if you’d like cost and dimension details on how we had this custom-framed.

Enjoy the video below that shows how these stencils are designed, cut, and used to make tenugui. We also recommend this book, Carved Paper by Suzanna Campbell Kuo, as one of the best English reference books on katagami.
Katagami Stenciling

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