A Faded Length of Complex Katazome Cotton: Tortoise, Crane, Pine
late nineteenth century
66" x 13 3/4", 167.5 cm x 35 cm
This is an absolutely beautiful length of indigo dyed katazome cotton; it is beautifully faded and shows a great deal of patina from wear.
The repeat pattern is pictorial: it is based on hexagons and squares. Inside the hexagon shapes are two sets of motifs.
One shows a tortoise, crane and pine, each a symbol of long life. In the other hexagon a traditional rain cape is depicted; this rain cape may be a reference to the tortoise which shows many long "tails," and as the hexagon itself refers back to the tortoise shell we an assume the rain cape has something to do with the intensely "tortoise-driven" motif of this length.
There is one mending patch to the back of this length and it is a marvelous one with great, resist dyed decoration.