Event: Katagami and Symbolism with Mamiko Markham

Event date: Tuesday 5 December 2017, 5–6pm

Researcher and practitioner Mamiko Markham presents a talk exploring the symbolism of the motifs used in katagami stencil design and the methods used to make them.

Katagami stencils are a Japanese technique for applying printed pattern to cloth, traditionally for kimonos. They are recognised as having had an important relationship with, and impact on, art and design across the globe.

Mamiko Markham was born in Kyoto, Japan, and grew up with katazome (Japanese method of dyeing fabrics using a resist paste applied through a stencil) from a young age. Her great grandfather was a katagami maker. She has a deep knowledge of the symbolism of the motifs used in katagami design and in the techniques used to make them. She has taught Japanese art and craft for over 25 years in Japan. and has worked extensively for UNESCO on guidance of art and craft education in Central Asia for fashion development using traditional folk textile weaving and dyeing.

Markham is currently working as a researcher and practitioner with Museum of Domestic Design and Architecture on their Katagami in Practice project Art School. Her research uses both ordinary and infrared photography to examine the katagami stencils in MoDA’s Silver Studio Collection to determine geographical origins, dates and makers (merchants).

This event is free; please book your place via Eventbrite.

Location: M&S Company Archive, Michael Marks Building, University of Leeds, LS2 9JT (sat nav LS2 9LP)

The event will be followed by the opportunity to visit ‘Katagami – The craft of the Japanese stencil’ exhibition at ULITA from 6pm–8pm. Refreshments will be served.

For more information, and to book a place at this event, visit the Eventbrite page.

For more about the related exhibition, visit the website of ULITA (University of Leeds International Textile Archive).

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Event: Eloquent Pattern – The Craft of the Japanese Printing Stencil – Talk by Alice Humphrey

Event date: Friday 22 September, 4:15–6pm

This talk will introduce the construction and use of Edo and Meiji period katagami – Japanese paper stencils used for resist printing designs onto clothing and domestic fabric. A focus of the talk will be the diverse patterning effects found on katagami influenced by the stencils’ construction and the use of the resulting printed fabric.

Dr Alice Humphrey developed an interest in Japanese textiles and katagami through working on the collections held at ULITA (an archive of international textiles in Leeds) and at the Museum of Domestic Design and Architecture, London. She has combined this with her doctoral research field of analysing the structures underlying decorative motifs and patterning.

The talk will be preceded by a viewing of related material from the Ashmolean collection, selected by our chairman Aimée Payton and the curator for Japanese Art, Dr Clare Pollard.

Location: Ashmolean Museum Jameel Centre Study Room 1 (for the viewing) and the Education Centre (for the presentation)
Time: 4.15–4.55pm (viewing) and 5.15pm (presentation)

OATG events are free for members and £3 for non-members.

For more information, and to book a place at this event, visit the Eventbrite page.

For more about the related exhibition, visit the website of ULITA (University of Leeds International Textile Archive).

Event: Japan Textiles Workshop

Event date: Friday 1 September 2017, 23:30 pm

This event, to take place at Leeds Discovery Centre, is associated with the current exhibition Katagami – The craft of the Japanese Stencil exhibition at ULITA, which runs until 7 December 2017.

A chance to see and handle a broad range of Japanese textiles at the main store of Leeds Museums and Galleries, which has lent several pieces to the Katagami exhibition at ULITA. World Cultures Curator, Antonia Lovelace, will show examples of luxury and folk fabrics including fabulous embroidered wedding Uchikake, indigo tie-dyes, delicate appliqués and zori and geta footwear.

This event is free; however, there are limited places available. Please book by emailing discovery.centre@leeds.gov.uk, or by telephoning 0113 3782100.

Leeds Discovery Centre is on Carlisle Rd, south of the Royal Armouries. Visit leeds.gov.uk/discoverycentre for information on how to get there.

For more information, visit the website of ULITA (University of Leeds International Textile Archive).

Exhibition: Katagami – The Craft of the Japanese Stencil

Exhibition dates: 11 April – 7 December 2017

This exhibition celebrates one of the ULITA archive’s major collections – ‘katagami’, Japanese resist dyeing stencils, which form a prominent part of ULITA’s Japanese collection. Through drilling, punching and cutting, a great variety of detailed and intricate designs were cut into mulberry paper. These stencils were used for dyeing designs onto clothing ranging from everyday workers’ garments to the finest silk kimonos.

This exhibition introduces the techniques of making and using the katagami, and explores the imagery used. Although produced simply as tools, in recent years, the katagami themselves have come to be appreciated as remarkable and beautiful objects in their own right. The designs on the stencils amount to more than decoration. Whether it be evoking a season, carrying wishes for longevity and good fortune or containing an entire folk story, every katagami has a story to tell about the fashion and culture of Japan at the time of its creation and use.

Katagami – The Craft of the Japanese Stencil features forty katagami, including stencils lent by the Museum of Domestic Design and Architecture (MoDa),which informed the work of the British textile company the Silver Studio, whilst stencil-dyed clothing lent by Leeds Museums and Galleries shows the finishing effects. The exhibition has been realised with the support of MoDa as part of their Arts Council-funded project Katagami in Practice. The exhibition is written and curated by guest Curator Dr Alice Humphrey, who has worked with the katagami collections in both ULITA and MoDa.

For more information, visit the website of ULITA (University of Leeds International Textile Archive).

Exhibition: The Synthetics Revolution – Man-made Fibres and Everyday Fashion

ULITA - Synthetics Revolution

Exhibition dates: 22 June – 21 July and 4 October – 1 December 2016 (open August/September by appointment)

The rise of man-made and synthetic fibres has placed ‘miracle’ materials at the heart of the modern fashion system. Today, these high-performance test-tube materials are found in clothing, furnishings and household goods. From the mid-twentieth century, firms such the DuPont Company, ICI and Courtaulds revolutionised people’s relationships with fibres by making and promoting a family of man-made and synthetic fibres, including rayon, nylon, polyester and acrylic.  As the world’s largest fibre manufacturer, DuPont publicised one new material, acrylic, as a ‘better fibre by design than a sheep produces inadvertently’.

The Enterprise of Culture project (School of History, Leeds) has teamed up with ULITA (University of Leeds International Textiles Archive) and the Yorkshire Fashion Archive (School of Design) to look behind the scenes of the synthetics revolution with the aim of bringing the story of man-made fibres and how we interact with them to life.

Drawing on these two university archive collections, the exhibition delves into how the introduction of synthetic fibres into a predominantly woollen manufacturing area, Yorkshire, had an impact on the lives of its inhabitants and changed the face of the textile industry in the region. Synthetic fibres were a global phenomenon, but many technical innovations originated in Yorkshire. A programme of events will investigate the experiences of people in Yorkshire as they came to know the new wonder fibres and their love/hate relationship with them.

This exhibition particularly promotes ULITA items from the Fibre Collection and Department of Textiles Industries Collection, including items only recently discovered.

For more information, visit the website of ULITA (University of Leeds International Textiles Archive).

Exhibition: Indian Embroidery

ULITA - Indian Embroidery

Exhibition dates: open by appointment in January and February 2016

This exhibition focuses exclusively for the first time on the Indian collection, one of ULITA’s major – and particularly colourful – world collections.

Illustrating the variety and quality of workmanship found in Indian embroidery, the exhibition explores the techniques of whitework, quilting, counted stitch, chain stitch, mirror work, metal thread work and appliqué. Also highlighted are a variety of artifacts on which embroidery may be found, from puppets to slippers, hats to tent covers.

The text associated with the exhibition draws from the publications of Professor Anne Morrell (Consultant at the Calico Museum of Textiles, Ahmedabad), who has used the collections for her research.

The stimulus for this exhibition arises directly from recent ULITA accessions which have included exquisite examples of highly embroidered phulkari, torans and covers.

For more information, visit the website of the University of Leeds International Textile Archive (ULITA), Leeds.