Online workshop, 20th March 2021, SOLD OUT


Booking for this workshop is through the Japan Society here - there is currently a waiting list.


The Japan Society is delighted to present an online katazome workshop with Sarah Desmarais. Japanese katazome (or stencil dyeing) is a centuries-old method of printing on cloth using paper stencils and a rice paste resist in combination with indigo or other dyes. Traditionally, it was often used to produce fabric for kimono.

In this workshop, participants will make a katazome-printed silk square suitable for a head or neck scarf. Materials (Japanese stencil paper, prepared rice paste, silk square, fibre reactive dye and thickener) will be posted to participants in advance. The workshop is suitable for any level of design or textile printing experience.

Participants will briefly learn about the history of this art, and consider ways of designing successfully for the medium. They will then go on to hand cut stencils from their own designs using traditional Japanese stencil paper (made with sheets of mulberry paper that have been laminated with fermented persimmon juice and then smoked to become waterproof). These will be used to print a repeat pattern onto a silk square, using a traditional rice paste resist made from sweet rice flour and rice bran. When the resist is dry, the fabric will be dyed with fibre reactive dye, and then washed out to reveal a white pattern on a dark ground.

To find out more about katagami and katazome, you can watch a recording of a Japan Society online talk on katagami with researcher Mamiko Markham, Head of Collections at the Museum of Domestic Design & Architecture (MoDA) Zoë Hendon along with Sarah.

You will need the following tools of your own:

  • cutting mat

  • scalpel knife with blade

  • emery board for knife sharpening

  • plastic (e.g. bank, library) card

  • rubber gloves and small roller and paint tray

  • jug (for dyeing use)

  • whisk (for dyeing use)

  • microwaveable container (for dyeing use)

  • microwave or iron

Participants will be provided with precise details/links to the things that are required. Please wear old clothing and an apron.



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