A Cotton Zokin: Subtle Mending
mid twentieth century
25" x 12 3/4", 63.5 cm x 32.5 cm
A zokin is a traditional Japanese dust cloth or cleaning rag; it is usually made from old pieces of cloth and it is usually layered and stitched for durability.
Along with diapers, zokin are among the traditional household textiles that represent the end of the line where the repurposing or recycling of cloth is concerned.
This example shows a very softly colored boro zokin, diaper or mat, two layers thick, which is stitched together from very pale grey striped cotton which is backed with a purplish colored cotton. Note the subtle repairs to the striped side of the cloth.