Katagami technique Itoire

2018-06-13T11:10:31Z (GMT) by Mamiko Markham
Katagami technique Itoire

The Silver Studio Collection at MoDA includes around four hundred Katagami, dating from the early nineteenth century. MoDA’s collection of Katagami is one of the significant public collections of Katagami in Britain.  Many of the Katagami in the collection produced in the late Edo period have 'Itoire' silk reinforcing technique.
This paper explained the method of 'Itoire' reinforcing technique.

Katagami are produced by highly trained artisans. They “carve out” patterns on stencil paper made from traditional Japanese Washi paper.
In patterns with many openwork, there is concern that the delicate stencils will tear during the dyeing process. For this reason, after carving, the layered papers of Katagami are peeled apart into two layers which sandwich extremely thin silk thread held in place by persimmon tannin. After inserting the threads, the layers of Katagami are carefully put back together. This process is called 'Itoire'. The final task is to blow through the carving to remove any excess persimmon tannin, and it has been thought that female artisans breath is best for this step. If this step of thread insertion is not done carefully, the entire painstakingly cut Katagami will be wasted. This task requires expert skill and extraordinary sensitivity.