A Figured, Sashiko Stitched Diaper or Zokin: Chusen Dyed
mid twentieth century
22" x 11 3/4", 56 cm x 29.75 cm
What a beautiful, complex and eye-dazzling cloth.
This rectangular-shaped cotton cloth is comprised of about four layers, the topmost which we can see in the accompanying photos shows a fabulous pattern: the complex black-on-blue repeat pattern shows a repeat with a grid-design background on which are seen three family crests, each a different size.
Most likely this design was applied to the cloth using the chusen method, a type of stencil application that uses a vacuum to pull color through layers of cloth: traditional tenugui were made in using this technique.
The four or so layers of cloth are hand stitched together with a wonderful sashiko pattern that is unusual and gives a unique effect: it is composed of rows of pairs of semi-circular arcs that meet and intersect in a playful manner.
Note as well the two cotton loops at the top of the cloth. These loops indicate that this cloth may have once been a diaper. Some faint smudges of a red color can be seen on a small area of the bottom of one side of this zokin/diaper, but this is a faint stain.
Really lovely, and recommended.