This was an amazing find. This is from the "昭和" "showa period" . The "showa" period is from 1926-1989. This is called "型紙" or "katagami". Katagami are made of multiple layers of thin mulberry paper which are bonded with a glue extracted from persimmon, which makes a strong flexible brown coloured paper.
This katagami was used for "katazome" which is the method of dyeing fabrics (kimonos) using a stencil and a resist paste. The resist paste was made with rice flour and when dyed, the dye didn't adhere to the areas covered with the paste. It was an inexpensive way to make all-over patterns similar to a woven cloth.
This stencil measures about 84 x 26.5cm.
PLEASE NOTE:This was very hard to take pictures of and it is much more amazing in person. **** The last pictures is just an example of how it can be used. The lamps are not included.
For more stencils please click here http://etsy.me/2eSsUBP