A Fragment of Indigo Dyed Kuzufu: Woven Kudzu Fiber
mid to late 19th century
37" x 14", 94 cm x 35.5 cm
Kuzufu is cloth woven from fibers processed from the kudzu plant, a species infamous outside Japan for being invasive.
In Japan, kuzufu was something of a luxury good because of its beautiful surface sheen. Often used for high-class garments worn by samurai, kuzufu is usually woven against a cotton warp and can be piece dyed as this one is, or figured.
Kuzufu is a bit stiff to the touch and if it gets wet it dries quickly, but it is its glossy surface that is its most notable characteristic.
This piece was dyed in indigo and it is missing one of its two selvedges. As well, it shows ingrained creases from its former life as a garment of some sort, and its blue color is still very rich, clear and warm.
Collectible for those interested in Japan's woven indigenous fibers.