First introduced to the West in the 1860s Katagami are paper stencils used in traditional Japanese resist dyeing. Katagami originate in the Nara Period (710-794) and were first used for applying pattern to Samurai armour and later used for dyeing textiles like Kimono in the 19th and 20th century.

Using handmade mulberry paper, highly skilled craftsmen use knifes and punches to carve delicate patterns and intricate images rich in symbolism and meaning, featuring concepts of luck, prosperity, happiness and wealth. Katagami have captivated artists, collectors and designers
for over 150 years, and are a permanent record of Japanese pattern. Few textiles featuring these patterns have survived, the longevity and preservation of these stencils long after their useful life as a tool pays testament to their beauty.