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"Masterpiece" Vintage Katagami Stencil
vintage japanese katagami stencil

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Tenugui Size
Our Price: $99.00
Material: Washi Paper
Length: 48" (approximate)
Width: 18" (approximate)
Condition: Very Good Vintage

Quantity in Stock:1
Shipping: Orders received before 11am EST ship same day via USPS. Otherwise, next business day.
Product Code: 0921STENCIL21

This vintage - possibly antique - katagami stencil was likely used to create tenugui - Japanese cotton hand towels.

This stencil is a work of art, masterfully carved to create shadow, overlapping light and dark elements, and very fine lines in the background of it all. Sadly, we have no idea what it says - the writing is quite stylized - but no doubt its meaning is auspicious.

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.

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 videos 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.
Chusen Stencil Dyeing

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