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Katazome A Dyeing Art

Updated on January 23, 2013

The Evolution of Imagery on Fabric

Katazome is a paste resist technique applied to textiles and was used in the making of the Japanese kimono. One of the earliest forms of self-expression, decorating the human body in it's many forms (like tattoos), inspired the practice of textile art. It is thought that dyed clothing started making an appearance in India around 1500 BCE, the earliest know dying techniques were a freehand method which involved drawing directly on the fabric by hand.

Paste Resist
photo © by Judy Ferony



Mud cloth (made in Africa) were also an early form of fiber art this didn't involve dyes, fermented mud from various regions were used to produce different shades of earthy tans, browns and black.

As time passed techniques evolved using sticks, stones and other objects as stamps; eventually evolving into the woodblock method; woodblock would have to wait till paper was invented to reach it's full potential.

Katazome: The Birth of Paste Resist Dyeing

Now a Dyeing Art

Katazome (pronounced kah-tah-zoh-meh) is specifically Japanese..There are a few steps to Katazome, first you make a design and cut a stencil for it, then you make the paste resisit and apply it through the stencil and last there is the dye process. It is a very time consuming textile art and each step must be executed perfectly or your finished product will not come out as planned (which may or may not wind up as a happy accident); this is why Japanese kimono sell for upwards of $10,000. or more, and are primarily used for traditional Japanese weddings.

Making Soy Mordant - Better Known As Soy Milk

In order for the natural dyes used in Katazome to become colorfast you must use a soy mordant first; traditionally the soy mordant is applied with wide badger hair brushes and left to dry before dye is applied. You buy soy beans in the health food store and use enough water to cover the soy beans, soak them overnight. Do not throw out the water! Using a blender or immersion blender grind the soy beans and water; then strain them in a cheesecloth over a container big enough to save all the liquid; this is your soy mordant, I take the pulp and cover the soy beans with water once again and strain and save the liquid again then combine all the liquid mordant from the first and second pressing.

Stretch your fabric taunt over a wood frame, as if you were going to stretch a silkscreen or do some silkpainting; it's okay if the fabric has a little give as it will tighten up when it dries (so don't make it as tight as a drum). I recommend you watch John Marshall's videos or buy them if possible; this whole process is much easier when you watch it vs. reading the instructions. Let the fabric dry and move onto the next step which is applying the paste resist.

Katazome Stencil - Loaded With Paste Resist

katazome stencil
katazome stencil

Cutting the stencils take some skills, you can also use punches that create little circles they are a fixed size and part of the traditional Japanese tools used to create stencils. After the stencil is cut a mesh gauze is applied, traditionally lacquer was used however water based acrylic paint works well; this step makes the stencil much more durable. Paste resist can be applied through a stencil or with a pastry bag and small tip that you would use for the outline or details in cookie icing.

Dancing Bears in Tri-Chem and Paste Resist

tee shirt stencil
tee shirt stencil

Making the Katazome paste is an interesting process, it's like making bread in the sense that you have to have a feel for it; once you do it a few times you'll get the hang of it, it's never an exact science and the outcome will always be affected by humidity. Best advice, "Just Do It!".

Ingredients

  • 1 part water
  • 1 part mochiko
  • 1 part komon nuka

Instructions

  1. When the dough is the consistency of pie dough for it into little balls and boil them till they float to the top, or make little doughnuts and steam them till the are roughly the color of peanut butter; then mash them with a mortar and pestle, sometimes salt needs to be added depending on humidity, and sometimes calyx is added depending on if your water's hard or not, if you add the latter of the two mix till you have the color of Dijon mustard. If adding salt (this prevents the paste from cracking when dry) add about a teaspoon to a cup of warm water and dissolve the salt, go easy, only add a teaspoon of this solution at a time. This is all trial and error and is something that you really need to buy books/videos on, or best case scenario take a class on it.
Cast your vote for Paste Resist Recipe

John Marshall Katazome Master

Text with BIG Picture

The quality of my lenses are usually much better, I am working on a NoteBook (er, meant NetBook) that a friend lent me (and grateful for that) however I don't have Photoshop and other programs I previously relied on; plus the screen is very small and I have bad eyesight. I'll try my best, a good artist uses the tools at hand and makes the best of it ;-)

Apologies

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    • Deadicated LM profile image
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      Deadicated LM 4 years ago

      @PinkstonePictures: Thank you, and thanks for the visit.

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      PinkstonePictures 4 years ago from Miami Beach, FL

      Love it

    • Deadicated LM profile image
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      Deadicated LM 4 years ago

      @Gypzeerose: Thank you; you Rock!

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      Rose Jones 4 years ago

      What a wonderful lens, in spite of the above I couldn't tell. Pinned onto my crafts I love board and blessed.

    • Deadicated LM profile image
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      Deadicated LM 4 years ago

      @Scarlettohairy: Thank you, you're a great author here on Squidoo, I really enjoy your Lenses.

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 4 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      This looks like a fun project. I've never dyed fabrics (well, once as a kid but I sort of just watched). Love your title (a dyeing art). ;o)

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      cmadden 4 years ago

      This sounds rather like part screen print, part batik - I'd never heard of it before. Thanks for an interesting lens!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Such a nice lens to come to for the fun of it! :)

    • Judith Nazarewicz profile image

      Judith Nazarewicz 4 years ago from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

      Wow! This is really something new to me, love the lens! Thanks :-)

    • CoolKarma profile image

      CoolKarma 5 years ago

      Gee I think the quality of this page is pretty dang great. It is very interesting and something I had no idea of.

    • SquidooPower profile image

      SquidooPower 5 years ago

      Never heard of this, thanks for bringing it to us.

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 5 years ago from Ljubljana

      Looks great!

    • Deadicated LM profile image
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      Deadicated LM 5 years ago

      @JZinoBodyArt: Your welcome, thanks for your participation.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Looks great and like a lot of fun (:

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      JZinoBodyArt 5 years ago

      I wil have to show this to some friends! Thank you for introducing me to the world of Katazome. :D

    • SecondSally profile image

      SecondSally 5 years ago

      Thanks. I love learning about different types of art.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Just had to revisit this Katazome coolness!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Very crafty indeed! :)

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      pawpaw911 5 years ago

      Thanks for teaching me about Katazome. That takes some real skill.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      How fun these must be to make.

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      Li-Li-ThePinkBookworm 5 years ago

      Wow, very cool. I may not be a very crafty person, but I am always interested in learning about different ways to make things. Thank you for sharing such great information!

      Li Li

    • Deadicated LM profile image
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      Deadicated LM 5 years ago

      @RinchenChodron: Thank you, I really enjoy your writings as well. The Essential Oil Diffusers Lens is really cool, I always wanted one of them.

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      RinchenChodron 5 years ago

      Very informative and detailed lens. Well done.

    • profile image

      crstnblue 5 years ago

      Wonderful, informative lens - no matter the "tools" used and circumstances.!

      Had no idea about "katazome" before and I'm glad to learn something new today!

      Thumbs up for your job & thanks for sharing!

      Blessed!

    • lesliesinclair profile image

      lesliesinclair 5 years ago

      Terrific! What an interesting way to decorate fabric. Nice presentation.

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Katazome is a creative form of textile art and you did a great job explaining this form of art with your useful content and pictures to go with it.

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      Echo Phoenix 5 years ago

      Squidtastic! sharing this with my daughter who is into all things Japanese:)

    • Deadicated LM profile image
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      Deadicated LM 5 years ago

      @tfsherman lm: Oh yeah, an amazing amount of work and resources go into them, some have real gold thread embroidered into them.

    • Deadicated LM profile image
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      Deadicated LM 5 years ago

      @Tarra99: It was my pleasure, I hope to add to this Lens in the near future.

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      Deadicated LM 5 years ago

      @YogaAngel: Thank you sweetie, I appreciate your visit and participation.

    • Deadicated LM profile image
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      Deadicated LM 5 years ago

      @sukkran trichy: Thank you for your kind words, I really enjoy your Lenses, they always teach me something new about a very mystical place, India.

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      Deadicated LM 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Thank you, you're such a sweet lady; if you ever come to NYC I'll be happy to meet up with you and show you around. I love all my Squidoo friends here; you'all make my day and remind me that I may be down but I'm not out yet.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Katazome is absolutely cool, I'd say you did wonderfully here and got everything out of that NoteBook you're using...an artist did well with the tools at hand!

    • sukkran trichy profile image

      sukkran trichy 5 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

      katazome is really amazing. thanks for sharing info on a wonderful art form

    • YogaAngel profile image

      YogaAngel 5 years ago

      This is really cool!

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      Tarra99 5 years ago

      Thank you for introducing me to something new!

    • tfsherman lm profile image

      tfsherman lm 5 years ago

      Fascinating. Remember the incredible kimonos in Memoirs of a Geisha? No wonder they were such works of art.

    • WildFacesGallery profile image

      Mona 5 years ago from Iowa

      Totally fascinating. Thanks for sharing. Blessed.

    • Margaret Schindel profile image

      Margaret Schindel 5 years ago from Massachusetts

      This looks absolutely fascinating! Thanks for sharing this ancient technique. Blessed by a SquidAngel!

    • casquid profile image

      casquid 5 years ago

      Thank you for seeing my Garlic Really lens and liking it!

    • casquid profile image

      casquid 5 years ago

      Nice lens!

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      JoshK47 5 years ago

      What a cool way to make designs - thanks for sharing! Blessed by a SquidAngel!

    • Deadicated LM profile image
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      Deadicated LM 5 years ago

      @flycatcherrr: It's my pleasure to share, that's the only way it will not die out. The was the main reason why I started doing Katazome, I wanted to make unique clothing and textiles. I will certainly credit my photos (I also have some HTML touches I usually add too), I have a lot of catching up to do; thanks for participating on my Lens and for your input.

    • Deadicated LM profile image
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      Deadicated LM 5 years ago

      @MJsConsignments: Thank you for the kind words, blessing and your participation on this Lens.

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      Michelle 5 years ago from Central Ohio, USA

      You've done a great job with this lens despite your obstacles. I learned something new today! Squid Angel blessed.

    • flycatcherrr profile image

      flycatcherrr 5 years ago

      Katazome is totally new to me - thanks for sharing it! This looks like a do-able craft, a great way to make gifts for special people, and a whole lot of fun to try.

      p.s. Don't forget to credit yourself for your photographs! :-)