When I was in Japan, one of the techniques we worked with was Katazome. We were privileged to do so in Mr. Noguchi's study and Bryan Whitehead's workshop.
Katazome is a Japanese method for dyeing fabrics using a resistant paste applied through a wooden spatula. To execute this dyeing resistance technique, a mixture of rice flour is applied on a stencil made with rice paper that has been previously dipped in persimmon juice, which makes it very resistant.
Unfortunately, katazome pasta can only be purchased prepared in Japan. Therefore, when I want to use this technique to design my fabrics, I have to make my own rice paste, after finding the ingredients which are not very easy to find.
Sometimes pigment is added to the rice paste that gives it a hue that makes it easier to work with the stencil when there are several applications.
When the rice paste is dry, the fabric is painted by hand or dipped into the indigo vat.
Where the rice paste covers and impregnates the fabric, the indigo will not penetrate the material and will look white. If the fabric is very thin, the white pattern will be seen on both sides of the textile, but if the fabric is thick, the design will be seen only on one side, and the other will be solid indigo. To make the design look from both sides of the fabric, the stencil is matched on both sides, and the rice paste is applied to both sides of the fabric. A truly artistic work, because the stencil has to match on both sides of the fabric.
If the stencil is placed correctly, you could create a large pattern with this technique(several unbroken meters of fabric).
Last week I was working with katazome in my studio, creating ten pieces of fabric with different designs that I plan to use in my future boro projects, such as applique for clothes.
Here are some examples of my katazome works.
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