Pochoir, the French word for stencil, is a method of coloring illustrations for books, journals, and fine art prints. Pochoir printing was at its peak in commercial publishing in the early twentieth-century. At that time there may have been over thirty studios in Paris alone. The manual and time-consuming process of pochoir is best utilized in creating limited edition prints displaying sensuous textures and luxurious colors.
A craftsman known as a decoupeur would cut a few to hundreds of different stencils for each sheet. Then coloristes would apply each layer of color using a separate pompon, a brush of short coarse animal hair. (A drawing of a pompon can be seen in slide 8: Saude's Traite d'enluminure d'art au pochoir, page 59.)