Friday, August 19, 2016

Kakishibu distraction....

I'm attempting  to do two things at once here...
Fuss with this blogging app (now from my aging iPad, instead of my phone)
whilst describing a process I was compelled to undertake after finding this bag of Kakishibu during my studio clean up project.

It's probably the last thing I should be doing...the dying thing....
But combining it with the blogging experiment keeps me on track as I ready my house and suitcase for our upcoming to Scotland and Ireland next month.


What IS Kakishibu?

Kakishibu is made from persimmons that have been concentrated, filtered, fermented, and matured.
Kakishibu is a Japanese traditional natural paint or dye.
Since ancient times, Kakishibu has been used as a waterproofer, insect repellent, and antiseptic, by applying it to woods, clothes, and other items.
This can make some products have greater strength, and last longer.

I had used this in the 'far long ago' to stiffen handmade paper and fabric. 
It's more concentrated when used in this way, and painted on in layers to achieve it's protective and hardening qualities.

Used as a dye, this is how I proceeded.

Step 1: 

I soaked 2 yards of fabric in soapy (ph neutral) water


Step 2:

I added 50 grams of Kakishibu powder to 2 liters of water. This is the 'dye' ratio recommended by an instruction sheet I had on hand. It could have been three liters, but two were enough cover my two yards of muslin.


Wow. This photo looks blurry!

(Remember this is a blogging experiment too!)


This is what it looks like while I whisk it in.....foamy and the powder sits on top
BTW I wore a dust mask.

I added it to one liter of warm water first.

It takes awhile to mix in.....

Then I added this to a small bucket and added the rest of the warmed water...

To that I added...


Two yards of wet cotton muslin.

I did not rinse the soap from it.


This is what it looked like after an hour.

Much like my Avocado dye result...only quicker!

From my experience this is an additive I will continue this experiment over the next several days

Inspired by the rich color and texture of Sakabukuro (sake bags).....

Which is not pink or whimpy peach.

Although it will become darker when exposed to light. link 

You'll just have to look it up.


  1. i love learnign kaki--it's very interesting to bring it to a paper and book class and see where folks travel with it. are you meeting up with alice austin perchance?!

    1. OH gosh! I (almost) wish I'd known about Alice's class before we booked this trip! So much to see and do….so little time. We'll be touring around Scotland for the first two weeks of September, then on to Ireland. Her workshop looks like it will be a lot of fun!

  2. Hi !!! Could you please tell me where did you buy powdered kaki ??

    Best regards

    1. I purchased this from a private party many years ago. Give me a few days to look for the package. I'm pretty sure I put his name and contact information on the bag.

    2. I also just noticed this evening that Kakishibu Juice can be purchased from here...

    3. OH, that didn't take long. I purchased a bag of Kaki powder from Clifton Monteith who was teaching at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Maine at the time I was taking a papermaking class there. This was MANY years ago. He uses Kakishibu on his amazing lanterns. He was very generous to sell me some of his stash. I think he gets it directly from Japan. Here is his website: He is a VERY nice man, and I'm sure he would lend some insight into where he gets it. Messy stuff!

  3. Thank you so much !! Very kind 🙏🏼