For the most part katagami designs are intended as surface decoration on fabric. Textile as a subject of a stencil is both the heart of katagami and a strange conceptual moment. This elemental technology is used to make a thing look like itself. Sort of.
Some stencils are cut to print the pattern of weaving on top of simply woven cloth. Others allow complex textile techniques to be placed on top of simply made fabrics. The approach makes perfect sense; labor-intensive decorative strategies like ikat, for example, require hundreds of hours of skilled work to generate a bolt of cloth. For ikat you have to bind the threads and dye them, leaving lengths in one color and the rest au natural. The threads are then woven in a precise alignment to reveal the pattern.
The relative simplicity of cutting a stencil instead and using it to print a bolt or more of fabric has obvious economic appeal. Other textile techniques like shibori (tie dye), brocade and complex weave examples are offered below and described in related sections.