Katazome-Shi Paper

These papers are decorated with a combination of stenciling and resist dying, a precise and laborious process. A kata, or stencil form, is used when applying a gelatin substance to the surface (in this case, paper). After the gelatin is dried, pigment is applied to the paper. The pigment is absorbed into the paper wherever there is no gelatin, thus the gelatin serves exactly the same function as wax does in batiking. Based on traditional kimono-printing techniques, these elegant bold patterned papers were developed in Kyoto during the 20th century by an inspired soul. Using persimmon-dyed kozo as the stencils, and aided by paste and "Kojiro" (soy bean juice), the pigments absorb deeply into the paper to produce long-lasting color and the unmistakable look of a print truly made by hand. The strength and ageless beauty of these special papers makes them great for book covers and boxes, cards, decorative elements on paper and wood, lampshades or backgrounds for photos. These papers are very painstaking to make- they are a dying art in Japan as that many paper making families do not have children who are interested in carrying on this tradition. These papers are not mass produced (they are not machine printed), and we are very excited to be able to offer them on our site.