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Katagami, Maple Leaves

This is a Katagami. We acquired it in 1976. Its medium is cut mulberry paper treated with persimmon tannin and silk thread. It is a part of the Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design department.

Katagami stencils were created and used by Japanese craftsmen as early as the 12th century. Using specialized tools to carve intricate forms from a sheet of washi paper, craftsmen used katagami (literally “pattern paper”) to print patterns on silk for kimono and other textiles. After placing katagami onto a section of fabric, artists applied rice paste and eventually dye to the fabric using flat brushes. The rice paste, acting as a resist, prevented the dye from adhering to the areas originally cut out from the stencil, allowing for large areas of repeating, detailed pattern.

This object was donated by Helen Snyder.

Our curators have highlighted 2 objects that are related to this one.

Cite this object as

Katagami, Maple Leaves; Japan; cut mulberry paper treated with persimmon tannin and silk thread; 1976-103-244

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Esperanza Spalding Selects.

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Katagami, Maple Leaves |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=26 November 2020 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>