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Supplies and Equipment

Having the right tools and equipment will make any endeavor a more rewarding experience. I recommend acquiring the best quality supplies and equipment right from the start. Imagine trying to learn origami using construction paper!

Whenever possible, I have suggested adequate substitutes.






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KOMON NUKA- Nuka is rice bran and may be found in any Asian market or health food store. But that is not the bran you will need. Komon nuka is very finely ground, de-oiled bran and must be manufactured specifically for making paste in order to work well.
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HERA (a.k.a. DEBABERA)- In English this may be referred to as a spatula or a spreader. There are a variety of styles. I prefer the type shown here–the handle and the curve make it much easier to see what the paste is doing as I spread it across the stencil. In a pinch, a silkscreen squeegee pay be used.
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SURIKOMIBAKE- These brushes are also commonly known as irosashibake. They are designed to be used in grinding the dyes into the surface of the fabric. Whenever convenient, hold them perpendicular to the surface of your cloth and move the brush in a circular motion using your wrist and your full arm and shoulder. These brushes are made primarily of horse hair and come in a wide range of sizes.
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   Commercial pigments may be purchased from stores that care quality paints for artists. You may also use high quality watercolors. Japanese pigments are available in an astounding range of colors but do be careful when purchasing pigments designed to be used by block print artists–they often contain finely ground glass to enhance the luster of the printed piece. Japanese dyers often take advantage of the convenience of pigments in stick form, as shown to the right.
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    Aobana is produced as both a natural and a synthetic dye. It has also found great popularity among quilters in the West, in pen form, to mark out cutting and sewing lines.
   Once dry on the cloth, aobana dissappears on contact with water. Some pen versions have been found to re-appear years later–causing much grief–but  natural aobana and the liquid synthetic version I carry do not do this.
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