OriginsAfghanistanNigeriaRussiaGhanaPanamaChinaChinaThe BalkansHungaryJapanJapanPakistanPhilippinesSyriaUkraine

Vest (kataginu) and trousers (hakama)

The Japanese method of resist printing (katazome) requires only simple tools: rice paste, a paper pattern and a single vegetable dye such as persimmon. The textile printer forces the rice paste onto the cloth through a thick paper stencil that is cut with a tiny swirling pattern. The cloth resists the dye according to the stenciled pattern, and the paste resist is then removed by washing the cloth.

Where was this textile created?

World map preview image


Vest (kataginu) and trousers (hakama)
Asia: East Asia, Japan
Late Edo Dynasty, 1789 - 1868
Woven hemp, patterned with stenciled paste resist
81 cm x 77 cm
Gift of Kaoru Kamimura
T94.0018a-b Textile Museum of Canada

The formal attire of a samurai warrior in Japan’s Edo period (1789-1868) consisted of a vest (kataginu) and trousers (hakama) worn over a simple kimono. This suit is made of hemp and was patterned by the technique known as katazome, or stenciled paste resist. The Takeda family mon, or crest, appears on the front of the trousers and vest. In the late Edo period, the samurai costume became exaggerated with the addition of stiff wings supported by whalebones extending from the shoulders of the vest.

This stencil pattern is meant to imitate “shagreen,” or pebbled shark leather. The multi-stage, labourious stenciling and dyeing process creates a natural texture and granular effect. The English word “chagrin,” meaning distress caused by humiliation or disappointment, is akin to “shagreen” and refers to the rough surface of the leather.

Do an Activity!
Test your knowledge of textiles and discover something new. You have four adventures to choose from.

Make a Mola Paint by Plant Magic Carpet Animal Know How