On double bevel ("V" shaped knives) the main types of cladding are San-Mai, Warikomi, and Damascus.
San-Mai means "3 thin sheets" and describes the 3 layer sandwich blade construction where the harder cutting edge steel is the middle and the softer cladding material is on each side. The cladding can be iron, softer carbon steel, stainless steel, etc. True San-Mai also means you'll see this sandwich at the blade spine.
Warikomi is simply a 3 layer sandwich where the cladding also covers the spine, so you don't see the sandwich construction.
Typical Damascus cladding can also be a San-Mai or a Warikomi style, but there are many layers of the cladding on each side of the core steel to create the Damascus visual effect.
Check out the knife education videos on this page: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/kiknedvi.html
. I think it's video #2 where I describe and visually illustrate cladding types.
Last edited by SteveG
on Fri Nov 15, 2013 9:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.