A Fabulous Tsutsugaki Hemp Furoshiki: Thickly Woven Wrapping Cloth from Tohoku

$315.00 USD

ca. late nineteenth, early twentieth century
52" x 49", 32 cm x 124.5 cm

This is a gorgeous, rustic textile from Japan's famously rural Tohoku area, the region which sits on Honsu Island's north west area.  Tohoku is synonymous with "rustic" and this area's folk items are very sought after for their special qualities.

This tsutsugaki dyed furoshiki--a traditional wrapping cloth--is woven from thick, hemp yarns; the entire piece is dyed in rich, deep indigo.

The flamboyant image which is hand resisted in the center of the cloth is that of an auspicious abalone, an image often used on celebratory textiles in old Japan.

Noshi is dried abalone that is stretched into long, ribbon like strips.  The word noshi is a homonyn for the word “prolong,” so it became customary to include noshi with a gift as a symbol of longevity and prolonged happiness.
It is more than likely that this textile was made expressly for a couple's wedding trousseau--wedding trousseau textiles are often decorated with exuberant designs, and the designs always represent a good-intentioned wish of fair tidings for the newly married couple.

On the proper, upper right hand corner is a hand resist dyed kanji, or Chinese character, presumably a family name.

From the accompanying photographs we can see some surface abrasion to the cloth which results in some superficial loss of indigo color.  As well, there are mended holes which can be seen, the mending very obvious on the photos which show the reverse side of this furoshiki.

All in all, this is a really beautiful and desirable textile, and one that we are very pleased to present.


A Fabulous Tsutsugaki Hemp Furoshiki: Thickly Woven Wrapping Cloth from Tohoku