Katazome is an art form to create patterns through complicated process------draw patterns, then produce “Katagami”, by cutting a washi stencil paper in accordance with the drawing, and then, place resist paste over the blank space so that dye would not spread---- a totally different process from the painting. It requires 18 different process of no return, and many talented craft persons with high level of technique were involved to develop this Katazome method over many centuries in Japan. The following is the rough process of Katazome:
sketch objects, and make a drawing by writing brush and sumi (Indian ink). Add a bridge form called “tsuri”, so that designed form would not be fallen into pieces in the process of carving. This “tsuri” will be either erased at the time of placing resist paste or be incorporated as another pattern. By drawing in sumi-ink, black and white drawing sharpens the part to be cut out.
produce “Katagami” by carving out blank space by a knife after tracing the drawing over the washi stencil paper which is made waterproof by using “Kakishibu”, persimmon tannin. This is the point of no return as blank parts are cut out.
3.Placing resist paste
cloth called “Hakusan Tsumugi” which is woven by silk thread made of twin silkworms, is placed over a wooden board, and then, the above “Katagami” is placed over the cloth. Then, resist paste made of sweet rice flour and KOMON NUKA(rice bran) is attached over it.
requires two months for “Katahori”, two hours for placing resist paste, and a single moment for removing “Katagami”
5.Erasing above “tsuri”
place paste over the “tsuri” to erase from the patterned object.
6.Control the state of paste
control humidity so that “Katagami” will not be broken apart after the placement of resist paste.
lay overnight the cloth in soy bean juice, so that it would help preventing from irregular spread of dye, and would add more full-bodied color as protein help coagulate.
synthetic dye invented in the 19th century could produce all different types of color, and start dyeing by adding different dye liquid with brush. As resist paste prevents the spread of dyeing, one could produce sharp and strong line, and create profound art world of dyeing helped by the rich quality of cloth.
in order to fix the dye on the cloth, steam the cloth for about 90 minuets at 100∞C in a steam box made of cedar and Japanese cypress. As dye simmers into the cloth, brilliant color will emerge.
10.Mizumoto (dip in water)
lastly, dip the cloth in water. Resist paste is gradually removed, and dyed pattern and form surface clearly in the water. This is the moment that you will meet the art work for the first time. “Mizumoto” or dipping the dyeing cloth in the water was the famous scenery at Horikawa river or Kamo river in the olden days.
This is the one set of process, and then, you will add color, dye, and place paste further, to enrich the art work. Process differs in each art work, and therefore, it is impossible to produce the same product from each “Katagami”.