A Bengara Dyed Katazome Obi: Iron Oxide Derived Dye

$125.00 USD

early twentieth century
88" x 2 3/4", 223.5 cm x 7 cm

This length of cotton cloth is katazome or stencil resist dyed using an iron oxide derived dyestuff called bengara. Bengara yields a rust-colored hue and is used not only on textiles but it is also found on exterior walls of traditional Japanese buildings.

This is a type of obi or kimono/jacket sash that was worn at Buddhist temple or Shinto shrine festivals. It would be worn in combination with a festively resist dyed happi so you can imagine how charming this would have looked when worn in combination with a happi or hanten.

Although narrow it is actually much wider because this is one traditional loom width (around 13", 33 cm) that has been folded laterally twice, so this is 1/4 the width of the actual cloth. The cloth is used and faded as can be seen in the accompanying detail photos.

Bengara dyed katazome is a desirable type and these festival obi also enjoy a robust audience of collectors.