An Exemplary Length Katazome Boro: Wonderful Old Cotton Threads
late nineteenth century
67" x 12 1/2", 170 cm x 31.75 cm
This length of indigo dyed patched cotton is a superb example of boro cloth.
The katazome dyed cotton is hand woven from hand spun cotton yarns and the quality of ito aji or thread flavor is high on the list of attributes to consider when acquiring an old Japanese folk textile. The design of the katazome is a classic: a pale blue ground over which is layered a darker blue pattern of chrysanthemums and karakusa which is trailing vine or arabesque motif.
The quality of the cotton cloth is high. This length no doubt taken from a futon cover, is hand stitched from two separate pieces.
Studding the surface of this length are about fourteen patches, each of which is made of cloth seemingly contemporary to the base cloth, that is, from the late nineteenth century. The patches are laid out in a beautifully artful progression of color and pattern, all unintentional.
A sumptuous and beautiful example of old Japanese boro cloth, this one should be considered for those who are interested in owning a high-quality boro piece that embodies not only very good age but is also beautifully artistic.