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Archives for November, 2013

A Book of Full Size, Hand Stenciled Katazome Patterns

November 21, 2013

KatagamiSampleBook1This is a very interesting sample book that shows about 74 katazome patterns.  The images are stenciled directly on to paper from an actual stencil, so in the cases where the page is not cut–most of the book–the images seen here are an imprint of a full stencil.

KatagamiSampleBook1aEach full page measures about 9 1/2″ x 13″ or 24 x 33 cm.  It’s wonderful to be able to leaf through this book and see each of these repeats in full size.

KatagamiSampleBook1bThe patterns seen in this book vary between stylized floral images, abstracted natural images and animal images and the many images shown in the book only scratch the surface of the endless variety found in the canon of katazome designs.

KatagamiSampleBook1c The book was probably produced in the early twentieth century.

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A Length of Shifu: Woven Recycled Paper Yarn

November 8, 2013

ShifuLength2Shifu is a kind of Japanese cloth which is woven from paper yarn.  Usually the weft yarn is hand twisted from washi or paper and the warp yarns are of another material, in this case it’s indigo dyed cotton.

ShifuLength2aThis length is wonderful for its details.  As you can see, running from left to right on this length are dark colored blips.  These dark blips are remnants of the ink which stained the paper which was shredded into narrow lengths and twisted into warp yarns.

ShifuLength2bThe kind of paper that was often used for shifu weaving was taken from books, sometime accounting books such as this type were utilized.

ShifuLength2cShifuLength2dWhat I can’t convey in this blog posting is the light weight of this piece of shifu: paper is less dense than, say, cotton, so a woven length of shifu is quite a bit lighter than cotton or hemp cloth.

ShifuLength2eOn the photos above and below you can easily see the indigo dyed cotton warp yarns and some of the loose paper yarns.  This length probably dates to the late nineteenth or early twentieth century.  Most probably this piece was taken from a shifu kimono.

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