The Japan Society

Upcoming Events

ARCHIVED ONLINE EVENT - Katazome (Stencil Dyeing) Workshop

Saturday 20 March 2021 / 11:00am
ONLINE EVENT - Katazome (Stencil Dyeing) Workshop

Saturday 20 March 2021
11.00am to 4.00pm (GMT) -with an optional lunch break
Check the time in your location

Booking Details
Online Event
£70 per person (inclusive of materials posted in advance)
plus postage: £10 to UK/EU; £20 to US; for other destinations please get in touch

Deadline for booking 3 March
Booking essential - Priority for Japan Society Members and their guests/families until 20 February 2020.

This workshop is limited to 10 participants, so early booking is recommended.
If you wish to book a place, please contact by clicking below with your name and postal address.


The Japan Society is delighted to present an online katazome workshop with Sarah Desmarais. Japanese katazome (or stencil dyeing) is a centuries-old method of printing on cloth using paper stencils and a rice paste resist in combination with indigo or other dyes. Traditionally, it was often used to produce fabric for kimono.

In this workshop, participants will make a katazome-printed silk square suitable for a head or neck scarf. Materials (Japanese stencil paper, prepared rice paste, silk square, fibre reactive dye and thickener) will be posted to participants in advance. The workshop is suitable for any level of design or textile printing experience.

Participants will briefly learn about the history of this art, and consider ways of designing successfully for the medium. They will then go on to hand cut stencils from their own designs using traditional Japanese stencil paper (made with sheets of mulberry paper that have been laminated with fermented persimmon juice and then smoked to become waterproof). These will be used to print a repeat pattern onto a silk square, using a traditional rice paste resist made from sweet rice flour and rice bran. When the resist is dry, the fabric will be dyed with fibre reactive dye, and then washed out to reveal a white pattern on a dark ground.

To find out more about katagami and katazome, you can watch the recording of our special online talk on katagami with researcher Mamiko Markham, Head of Collections at the Museum of Domestic Design & Architecture (MoDA) Zoë Hendon along with Sarah. 

You will need the following tools of your own: 

  • cutting mat
  • scalpel knife with blade
  • emery board for knife sharpening
  • plastic (e.g. bank, library) card
  • rubber gloves and small roller and paint tray
  • jug (for dyeing use)
  • whisk (for dyeing use)
  • microwaveable container (for dyeing use)

Participants will be provided with precise details/links to the things that are required. Please wear old clothing and an apron.

Sarah Desmarais is a textile designer maker and crafts researcher. She produces hand-printed textiles with the traditional materials of Japanese katazome or stencil dyeing - paper stencils and a rice paste resist that is washed out after dyeing to leave a white pattern on a coloured ground. Her designs derive from drawing and mark making in a variety of wild and weathered landscapes. Her work celebrates the value of slow making and its potential to contribute to a more sustainable culture of textile production and consumption. She is the recipient of a 2019 Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust award to take part in a research trip to Japan. She has recently undertaken artist residencies with Bow Arts and the Museum of Domestic Design and Architecture, and supervises doctoral research at the Royal College of Art.


If you have any questions, please call the Japan Society office on 020 3075 1996 or email us at: