Tag Archives: persimmon

Katazome Experiment

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Katazome is a type of fabric that is decorated through the use of paste resist stencil designs. The technique has been used in China and Japan for hundreds of years. I wanted to try the technique, but felt overwhelmed by the large number of supplies needed. This was my short cut experiment in katazome. I began by cutting out a stencil from some small squares of kakishibu treated paper. Kakishibu is a dye made from the fermented juice of green astringent persimmons. It is often used to dye fabric or to waterproof paper. I copied the chrysanthemum and sea holly patterns from some antique fabrics, and I made a simple rice paste glue by cooking glutinous rice flour in hot water for a few minutes. I left the paste to thicken up and cool down in the refrigerator.

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The base fabric was dampened with a spray bottle and the stencil was also moistened so that it would lay flat on the damp fabric. I used a small spatula to push the paste through the stencil before removing the stencil and allowing the paste to dry in the sun for about an hour.

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After the paste was no longer tacky I dyed some of the fabric pieces with indigo and the rest using kakishibu. The kakishibu dyed fabrics need to be exposed to strong sunlight in order to deepen the color of the dyed fabric. I am pleased with the simplified katazome fabrics that this experiment produced. I wrapped the fabrics up as gifts with some antique Japanese paper from old daifukucho.

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Tsutsugaki Furoshiki with Noshi Design

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This Meiji era furoshiki depicts a bundle of noshi. These were strips of dried abalone  given as gifts in old Japan. Over time the noshi developed into an auspicious design that can be found on many Edo and Meiji era items that were originally  meant as gifts. the symbol came to represent a wish for good fortune and prosperity. IMG_2444IMG_2445

This furoshiki employs indigo, persimmon, and sumi ink dyes. The design was created by using rice paste in a resist technique known as tsutsugaki. I love the way the imperfections in the noshi are represented, I also love the deep indigo background color.IMG_2446IMG_2447

This furoshiki has several big patches which makes me think that it was extra special. I know someone treasured it due to all the work they put into mending it.IMG_2448

Happy New Year.

Antique furoshiki made from a nobori

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This is a furoshiki, or “carrying cloth” made from three sections of an old Japanese banner. It was produced in the early to mid 20th century. and was dyed using fermented persimmon dye. The kanji was produced using a technique called tsutsugaki. This furoshiki is a great example of the Japanese idea of mottainai or “nothing wasted.”  Notice the third section of the furoshiki where the kanji are upside down. IMG_2420IMG_2421IMG_2419

The darker portion above is where the banner would have been attached, via a fabric tab, to a pole  that held it aloft. It remained dark while the rest of the banner was sun bleached. IMG_2418

The most beautiful katazome ever

I found this katazome fabric a few years ago. It dates to the early 20th century and is made of machine made cotton. I think it must be the most beautiful katazome ever produced.IMG_2210IMG_2205IMG_2206

Katazome is produced by pushing rice paste through a stencil, traditionally made of handmade paper treated with unripe persimmon juice, onto fabric. The rice paste is allowed to dry slightly before being dyed. the rice paste is then washed off to reveal the design. I adore the design of elongated sea holly flowers on this fabric. I think this fabric was once used as a futon cover. what a beautiful pattern to fall asleep under.IMG_2208IMG_2209

Handmade Thread In Antique Basket

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This antique paper covered basket holds some of the yarns I have been making over the past few months. The basket itself is really special. It has been covered with a layer of hand spun cloth and then encased in multiple layers of paper taken from daifukucho or shopkeepers ledgers. some of this paper has been treated with persimmon tannin which turned the paper dark red/brown and made the basket waterproof. I think the basket is probably from the early Meiji period.                                  Image

Here are some wisteria or fuji yarns. The blue has been dyed with indigo.

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I dyed this fuji yarn with indigo that was past its prime. It has a gray quality I really like.

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This paper yarn or shifu I made from part of a roll of washi paper I found. I cut the paper into a long narrow strip and then spun it using an Ashford spinning wheel. the thread is really strong and has a lot of elasticity. I would like to try dying shifu in the future but it seems like the nature of paper and water might cause problems.

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This is yarn I made from scrap cloth cut into strips and spun. some of the cloth has been dyed with indigo.