A Faded Fragment of a Shop Noren: Soft Tones
ca. early to mid twentieth century
57" x 14 1/4", 145 cm x 36 cm
This lovely length of indigo dyed, heavy canvas-like cotton has been very much weathered from exposure to light and the elements, which gives it its rich patina and its faded color.
This is one panel from a resist-dyed noren, a kind of curtain that is hung outside shops and restaurants, announcing the name of the establishment, and, when displayed, announcing that the establishment is open for business.
This one may be woven from commercially produced cotton and by its
severe light fading--the original color was a deep, rich indigo--and the
soft staining to the resisted hiragana characters, we can see that this
old textile has been well-used.
As has been noted above, the original, deep, indigo color has faded
and oxidized to a soft, grey-blue tone. The undyed characters show staining and soiling from being exposed to the elements, and this adds to the charm of the piece.