zen hand drawing

Masking to prevent the patterns from coloring

When I first entered this field of business, I was really wondering what masking was. Maybe you too, eh?

What is masking in Tegaki(hand drawn) Kyo-Yuzen techniques?

Masking is to cover the patterns of iPad bags with rice starch to prevent them from coloring. The process is not very looking good so much compared to painting or gold placing, but this is absolutely essential to make products using Tegaki(hand drawn) Kyo-Yuzen dyeing techniques. Without this process, it’s not possible to even paint the patterns.


Let’s take a look through the process!

Glue contouring

Glue contouring for iPad bags
First of all, the craftsman puts the cloth on the design. Then he creates delicate lines like tracing the design for an iPad bag. If the line is thick, that must be looking bad. To avoid that, a pointed tube is used.
Glue contouring for iPad bags
It looks pretty easy, isn’t?
But as I introduced our silks on this post, our clothes have woven patterns and they are uneven. If he doesn’t have a great skill to create delicate lines, they shouldn’t be straight. And that’s very hard when he draws curved lines especially.
Glue contouring is done
Glue contouring is done. The purpose of doing this process is avoiding color leaking out the area when the patterns are painted later.


Masking for iPad bags
The patterns of iPad bags are covered with rice starch to prevent them from coloring/dyeing background.
Rice starch is used
He covers the patterns along the contours he placed for the previous process.
First, he puts rice starch around the whole pattern with the thin tube.
Doing this process is a difficult thing and is needed concentration.
Thick tube for masking
After he puts rice starch around the pattern, a thick tube is used. There are many kinds of brushes. They are used depends on the patterns or situations.
Being adjusted.
Finally, every pattern is covered!
Sawdust is put on the patterns
After masking the patterns, sawdust is put there.
That protects the glue of masking for next processes such as background color dyeing and steaming.
It's done
When the starch is dry, it looks like this. This masking prevents the patterns from coloring.

This is it. Hope you enjoy our iPad bags/cases/shoulder bags which the Japanese craftsmen made through the process above.