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"Katakana Jumble" Katagami Stencil
vintage katagami stencil


 
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Lively and Festive
Our Price: $99.00
Material: Paper
Length (inches): 48"
Width (inches): 18"
Condition: Excellent Vintage

Quantity in Stock:1
Shipping: Orders received before 11am EST ship same day via USPS. Otherwise, next business day.
Product Code: 0619STENCIL4
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Description
 
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 video below for a fascinating look into this traditional craft.

We wish we could decipher these characters... They seem to be nonsense words, but of course they do have meaning if we could only figure it out.The bold katakana lettering, the fun mishmash of sizes, "handwriting style", and characters really makes this a fun and festive stencil. We imagine the tenugui it made was given out as a celebration of some sort.

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.

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