Stencil dyeing

photo Stencil dyeing


In katae-zome or stencil dyeing, a rough draft is attached to a sturdy piece of traditional Japanese paper that has been tanned in astringent juice. Then the picture is cut out to make a stencil. Resist paste is then applied in cutout parts of the stencil to make a repeating pattern and dye is applied to create the colors of the design.
Fabric dyed with stencil dyeing is fascinating because of the dramatic sharp edges created by the stencils and the intricacy of the repeating patterns.


  1. 1.A rough sketch of the design is drawn and copied onto tissue paper.
  2. 2.The tissue paper is attached to sturdy traditional Japanese paper. The design is cut out of the paper to make a stencil.
  3. 3.The stencil is placed on top of the fabric that is stretched over a board and paste is applied.
  4. 4.Color is applied with a small brush to the areas with no paste. Once the color has dried, the fabric is washed and completed.
  • "What Are Traditional Crafts? -A Guidebook to Seeing, Learning, and Enjoying-" Edited by the Japan Kogei Association Eastern Branch. Published by Unsodo Reference artworks