A Bag of Narumi Kongata Dyed Cotton: Stenciled Faux Shibori

$195.00 USD

late nineteenth, early twentieth century
9 1/2" x 8" x 8", 24 cm x 20 cm x 20 cm

 This hand stitched drawstring bag is made entirely from indigo dyed cotton cloth called Narumi kongata.

Narumi kongata is a kind of katazome dyeing that employs a set of stencils which, when resisted and dyed, creates an intentional shibori-like effect as is the case on this example here.

Soft edges give the impression of faux shibori are a standard feature in the repertoire of Narumi kongata and the cloth employed to create this bag is complex and patterned. 

The geometric, repeat pattern is probably based on a traditional design that alludes to cracking or thawing ice, a sign of spring. Elaborately designed small images are tucked into the diagonal lines of the overall pattern.

Interestingly this bag is made from the same cloth as was used to make this faded and worn boro cloth. As these two pieces were acquired at the same time from the same source we can be sure that each of these two pieces come from the same original household. And interesting as well that the cloth on this bag is not light faded which gives us a clear idea of the original appearance of the faded boro cloth just mentioned.

The bag is secure by widely staggered loops at its top which means that when the drawstring is pulled tight it is not completely cinched closed.

Also note the bottom of the bag whose cotton is quite worn away which exposes the cardboard base strengthening the bag's bottom.