Katagami stencilling with indigo with Rob Jones

Ref: S3D33165

Location: West Dean
Book now

Places available

About this course

Learn the history and practice of Japanese Katagami stencil cutting and Katazome stencil dyeing. Cut your own stencils and use them and the tutor's own to make a variety of patterns with indigo dye.

Course Description

The Japanese crafts of Katagami (stencil cutting) and Katazome (dyeing using stencils) are ancient ones in Japan, with craftsmen making the most delicate and detailed patterns and representations of nature and Japanese life on fabric.

Katagami stencils are made from Japanese washi paper, soaked and bonded together using the aged juice of the Persimmon fruit and then dried and smoked to create an almost entirely waterproof paper, ideal for stencil work.

On the first day, you will use your own designs to cut up to three paper stencils, using Kakishibugami stencil paper provided by the tutor, who will then attach a synthetic mesh to them using lacquer, ready for use the next day. You will learn how to make and apply the traditional rice paste used as a resist, and start to use the tutor’s modern and vintage Japanese stencils, using indigo dye. The tutor will explain how to set up and maintain an indigo vat for dyeing your work.

On the second day, you can use your own cut stencils and practise pattern matching with the tutor’s stencils to create larger patterns, as would have been traditional in Japan.

There will also be time to experiment with overlaying stencils and other effects, using soy milk and pigments. Nori tsutsu paper cones will be available for those who wish to try piping designs on their fabric.

Your tutor will also explain about the history of Katagami stencilling in Japan, the four types of stencil cutting techniques and show you his collection of vintage stencils.

You should leave with the skills to cut and dye with your own stencils at home.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops until 9pm, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials


  • On this course, the tutor will supply some of the materials, including:
  • Indigo and its auxilliaries
  • Kakishibugami stencil paper
  • Rice paste components
  • Shinshi and other tools for applying paste (for use in the class only)
  • Cutting knife and blades
  • Silk mesh and lacquer, soy milk and pigments (for use in the class only)

What students need to bring

  • Design inspiration for up to three small stencils (typically 10cm square)
  • Pencils, paper, ruler, sketchbook, glue stick
  • Fabric for dyeing - cotton and linen are best, and must be pre-washed or PFD (Two metres each is recommended.)
  • Cat litter tray or washing up bowl
  • Water sprayer
  • Fabric scissors, paper scissors
  • An apron and covered footwear
  • Optional: a 25 litre water container/carrier, if you wish to take home some of the indigo dyebath at the end of the course

Available to buy

  • Available from tutor:
  • Kakishibugami stencil paper

Additional information

Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio. This includes stout covered footwear, i.e. no open-toes or sandals, and safety boots, if specified.


Rob Jones

Rob Jones is a textile artist, who takes his inspiration from Japanese Textiles traditions including Shibori, Katagami stencilling and Sashiko embroidery and Boro. He began his study in 2011 at West Dean on short courses and then undertook an intensive course with Bryan Whitehead in Japan in the autumn of 2014. Rob has been a full time textiles designer and teacher since September 2015.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

Courses of interest

Shibori techniques for textiles

2 to 8 Aug 2024 | West Dean
2 places available
Tutor: Rob Jones |

Clay monoprints on fabric

19 to 22 Jul 2024 | West Dean
Places available
Tutor: Claire Ireland |

Stitched folk inspired floral sewing basket or textile

15 to 18 Jul 2024 | West Dean
Places available
Tutor: Anne Kelly |
Suitable for all

Using natural dyes: a historical perspective

19 to 21 Jul 2024 | West Dean
Places available
Tutor: Isabella Whitworth |

Further study options

Take the next step in your creative practice, with foundation level to Masters in Fine Art study. 

Depending on your experience, start with an Online Foundation Certificate in Art and Design (one year, part-time), a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design made up of 10 short courses taken over two years (part-time) or advance your learning with our BA (Hons) Art and Contemporary Craft: Materials, Making, and Place (six years part-time). All will help you develop core skills, find direction in your practice and build an impressive portfolio in preparation for artist opportunities or higher-level study. See all degree and diploma courses.