Antique Sample Books and Ledgers

In old Japan, women would create albums filled with samples of their handwoven cotton cloth.  These shima cho, or stripe albums, as they are called were meant to be a record of a family's weaving and were intended to act as a reference for future generations.  It is said that a young bride would carry a family shima cho with her when she went to live with her husband and his family.  We also show here commercial sample books from the early-to-mid twentieth century as well as old, hand bound ledger books which are filled with hand scrawled calligraphy written on washi.