Red Katazome (Dyed Textile Panel)
This is the ninth installment in a series we're calling Origins. It of course has nothing to do with the X-Men comic series.
Katazome is a Japanese method of dyeing fabrics using a resist paste applied through a stencil. With this kind of resist dyeing, a rice flour mixture is applied using a brush or a tool such as a palette knife. Pigment is added by hand-painting, immersion or both. Where the paste mixture covers and permeates the cloth, dye applied later will not penetrate.
Katazome on thin fabrics shows a pattern through to the back; on thicker or more tightly woven fabrics, the reverse side is a solid color, usually indigo blue for cotton fabrics. Futon covers made from multiple panels of fabric, if the stencils are properly placed and the panels joined carefully, exhibit a pleasing over-all pattern in addition to the elements cut into the stencil.
One attraction of katazome was that it provided an inexpensive way for over-all patterns similar to expensive woven brocades to be achieved on cotton. As with many everyday crafts of Japan it developed into a respected art form of its own.
Besides cotton, katazome has been used to decorate linen, silk and fabrics that are all or partially synthetic.
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