A Four Panel Hemp Cloth: Impression from Steaming
ca. early to mid twentieth century
54" x 52", 137.5 cm x 132 cm
This large, four panel, hand stitched heavy hemp mesh cloth shows an off-center "stain," a rather large and prominently placed, irregularly formed circle.
As was the the case in Japan, and which still is the case even today, cloth of this type was used for steaming foods and in other processes which require the same technique.
Often these pieces show the traces of being subjected to high heat for prolonged sessions, as does this one, which shows the circular outline of a steaming vessel.
This impression is just lovely, as is the heavy hemp cloth which serves as a ground for this unintended imprint.
The graphic appeal of this cloth is very apparent, and the fact that this beautiful, dark impression is due to happenstance adds to the charm.
The cloth, being a heavy hemp, is somewhat creased from use; this may or may not fully relax over time. But consider this: imagine undoing the seams of this cloth and creating a noren or traditional space divider from this old, steaming cloth? It would be beautiful....
A really, really lovely old cloth from Japan.