A Four Panel Katazome Boro Textile: Gauzy Cotton
early twentieth century
50" x 50", 127 cm x 127 cm
This is a lovely boro cloth, whose base is a lightweight and supple--almost gauzy--handwoven cotton that has been stencil resist dyed in the katazome method. The original indigo blue has faded and oxidized to a soft, steel blue/grey color.
Four panels of this cloth are hand stitched together to compose this piece which probably started its life as a futon cover but seems to have been cut down to become a furoshiki or a traditional wrapping cloth.
The stencil resist dyed pattern is beautiful. It shows chrysanthemums which are highly stylized as roundels amid a field of arabesques and flowers. Attached to the surface of this cloth are about 15 small cotton patches, each hand stitched, their small scale and profusion adding a great deal of charm to this old textile.
A subtle and beautiful boro cloth, this katazome dyed cloth is emblematic of the folk textiles of old Japan.