A Cotton Zokin: Perfect Stitching
ca. early to mid twentieth century
9 1/2" x 13 1/4", 24 cm x 33.5 cm
Zokin are traditional Japanese dustrags which are almost always made from layered and sashiko stitched scraps of cloth.This is a very handsome zokin which is sewn from recycled cotton cloth, probably about four layers in all, and is notable for the central "X" which dominates this every day cloth. This "X" is amazing from the standpoint of its expert stitching: anyone out there who has hand stitched knows how difficult it is to stitch a perfectly straight line of any length from point to point as is done here. The vertical stitches follow the grain of the cloth, while the large "X" does not and when considering this, is rather remarkable in its execution. A gorgeous, simple thing.