Katagami are antique Japanese textile stencils, carved by hand from mulberry paper, reinforced with silk threads.

These intensely crafted objects were used to lay pattern on plain cloth for centuries. From 1880 to 1910, they swept Europe and the U.S. with a uniquely graphic vision for art and design, pattern and craft. This is the story of an art and a collection.

When the enthusiastic collector of this group died, the collection was placed in crates for half a century. And now they’re out. I crafted this site and catalog to make them available to curators and collectors, and the patterns accessible for new making. 

The Katagami Project presents John Huston’s collection of 2049 original hand-cut stencils in a searchable catalog. Use the website to explore visually curated groups of selected works in shows or to learn more about the collection, history and craft in essays listed here. 

The project offers high resolution digital files of patterns for new print and manufacture. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch