Japan's blue-and-white cotton textiles are regularly associated with its traditional rural culture. In fact, they are often referred to as “country textiles” yet the hand-loomed, hand-dyed indigo cloth was first used primarily by Japanese city dwellers beginning in the mid-eighteenth century.
The widespread use of indigo cotton by country farmers came later and its adaptation was a gradual process, taking hold around the early-to-mid nineteenth century.
Farmers cultivated cotton beginning in the sixteenth century. At that time, it was too costly a fiber for them to use themselves. Instead farmers spun and wore linen-like bast fibers, such as hemp, ramie, wisteria, nettle and other indigenous fibers, which was either foraged for or cultivated.
Śri’s collection of antique Japanese country textiles reflects our special interest in the genre of patched and mended indigo textiles, generally referred to as boro.
Each antique textile is chosen for its rarity and beauty and each is judged against comparable items, if possible. We rate an individual piece by its relative age, its strength of character, and its aesthetic appeal.
Our collection of Japanese folk textiles represents many techniques and styles of indigo-dyed cotton, including kasuri, katazome, tsutsugaki, sashiko, sakiori, and shibori as well as asa or bast fiber textiles, the hand-plied hemp and ramie textiles of old Japan.