Katazome in the Makerspace

Katia (student and President of the Asian Pacific Islander Club) collaborated with Innovation Center on a katazome activity for her club. Katazome is a Japanese fabric dyeing process that uses a resist paste applied to fabric through a stencil, and we more or less followed the procedure detailed in Workshop no. 21: Natural Selections: Hands-on Katazome and Indigo with Graham Keegan.

Early this morning, Katia made the dough using rice flour and rice bran…

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…which we then steamed for an hour and half.

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Meanwhile, we used the laser cutter to cut out some stencils, based on traditional Japanese designs.

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While Katia smashed up the now cooked dough balls, adding glycerine and water with hydrated lime to make a paste…

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…other members of the club arrived, and set to work cutting cotton fabric into 8″x8″ squares…

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…and ironing the fabric to make it nice and flat for stenciling.

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The paste ready, students set to work applying it to the fabric…

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…and hanging the squares up to dry.

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Once the squares were dry, it was into the dye for 20 minutes…

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..then back on the line to dry again…

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…before being rinsed.

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The rinsed pieces now dry, Katia trimmed the edges with pinking shears…

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…while other students pressed the finished squares using the t-shirt press in the Clean Lab.

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The result!

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It’s exciting to find ways to combine traditional arts – katazome – with digital fabrication – the laser cutter, and we’ll incorporate what learned a lot about the process and timing into v2.0 of the activity in a couple of weeks.

More photos from the activity:

Katazome in the Makerspace



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