A Full Bolt of Gauzy Cotton: Shibori and Chuusen Techniques

$275.00 USD

early twentieth century
approximately 31 feet x 12 1/4", 9.5 m x 31 cm

This is a full, unused bolt of gauzy cotton that was dyed using two techniques.

The lightweight, clingy cotton was first dyed in indigo in the shibori method and then it was over dyed in the chuusen method, a traditional stencil dyeing technique dating from the 19th century that was used for creating tenugui or decorative, souvenir hand towels.

Chuusen dyeing relies on hand cut stencils set on a pile of carefully and strategically folded cloth. Dye is poured onto the stencil which sits atop the prepared cloth. A primitive vacuum machine sucks the dye through all the layers of cloth, thus producing a repeat pattern onto a long length of cotton.

Here we see a full bolt of this chuusen dyed cloth: chuusen dyed cloth often shows faint and blurred edges to the pattern or the design, as this one does. The dye flow reaching different parts of the cloth is uneven which is why the resulting pattern can be slightly varied.

As this is an old bolt of cloth that has not yet been used--it has been coffered for decades--the bolt does show some faint areas of yellowing, however as stated, these are faint and are difficult to see. The yellowing seems to be localized on a short span of this bolt.

A recommended and beautiful thing to own.