top of page


by John Marshall


The paste resist in katazome serves to block out areas of cloth when applied through a stencil. The blocked out areas may be the original white (undyed) portion of the fabric or may be areas that have already been dyed that you would like to protect from further change.



one part bran (komon nuka): one part flour (mochiko): one part water

(calx, table salt, and glycerin will also be added in this recipe)


▶︎Sift the dry ingredients and blend them together thoroughly.


▶︎Add the water gradually, distributing the moisture evenly and thoroughly before adding more.


▶︎Add enough water to make the dough the consistency of pie crust dough, or wood putty.


▶︎Roll little golf-ball-size shapes from the dough.


▶︎Place the dough in a steamer lined with a moistened cloth and steam for sixty to ninety minutes.


▶︎While the dough is steaming, add one tablespoon of calx (calcium hydroxide) to one cup of warm water. Stir and allow larger particles to settle to the bottom of the container.


▶︎Transfer the dough balls quickly to a suribachi (mortar),  mix thoroughly and vigorously with a surikogi (pestle).


▶︎Gradually decant the calx mixture into the paste as you continue to stir. Continue adding a bit at a time until the paste takes on a slightly yellow color (not bright yellow).


▶︎Begin to add more water slowly to thin the mixture.


▶︎Add a dollop of glycerin to keep the paste pliant once it has been applied to the cloth.


▶︎Continue adding water until it is of a spreading consistency at room temperature.


If you have worked diligently, you will have a lump free, glossy smooth paste. If the paste is not glossy, then it is likely that you didn’t cook it long enough. If it is lumpy, you may strain it through a loose-weave cloth.


▶︎Transfer the paste to a mixing bowl and cover with plastic wrap for later use.


When you are ready to use the paste, you have the option of adjusting it to allow for the level of humidity in your working environment. Very low humidity may cause the paste to crack–salt may be added to draw moisture from the air. Too little salt and your paste will still crack. Too much and your paste will take too long to dry.  Start out with about a pinch and learn to adjust it as needed in future projects.

bottom of page