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BINGATA iris stencil BANNER 2-.jpg

Katazome and Bingata Page

expressing the beauty found in patterns

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katazome and bingata


Much of the katazome practiced in Japan has origins in Okinawan bingata, with a great many spin-offs techniques.

In essence, both use stencils carved from paper, through which a rice-paste resist is pushed. This paste sits on top of the yardage and blocks out any dye – only the exposed areas become stained. Bingata is known for its bright, tropical patterns and color based on pigment dyes.

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Katazome Futonji-.jpg

Katazome is used to produce all levels of textiles in Japan – from the highly sophisticated formal kimono of yuuzen, to the more humble and rugged versions of aizome, as shown above. The sample was taken from an antique futon cover, well worn, allowing the topical indigo to wear away with time exposing the core fibers. This casual worn look is what contributes so heavily to the intimate appeal of country katazome.



If you'd like to follow the steps involved in katazome from start to finish, click on either of the images, above or below, to access the katazome How-To page of this website.




In its attempt to keep both Japan and China at bay with tribute, the Kingdom of Ryuukyuu (Okinawa) continually made technical advances in textiles as well as other arts – establishing a truly unique aesthetic along the way. Bingata is the result of her dye efforts – often bold and brilliant, incorporating motifs that would appeal to both nations.

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