A Furoshiki Fashioned from Sakai Sarasa: Luxurious Cotton Cloth from Osaka

$385.00 USD

mid to late nineteenth century
29 1/2" x 23 3/4", 75 cm x 60 cm

This is a furoshiki or a traditional wrapping cloth that is hand stitched from Japanese stencil dyed, hand spun, hand woven cotton cloth that is meant to evoke the feeling of Indian trade cloth or sarasa.

Sarasa was collected by connoisseurs of beauty in Japan who were people of great means and high social position. The fact that sarasa was imported and exotic was a lure for attraction--and add to that the mastery of hand drawn design, color and dye achieved by Indian textile artisans that drew interested from Japan's elite.

Sakai sarasa, of which this is an example, is named for the Sakai area of Osaka where this type of cloth was produced.

This furoshiki is made of two panels of Sakai sarasa that are faded to a soft palette of color tones. When this cloth was first dyed it presented in saturated colors and rich tones, which have now softened to a beautiful effect.

Sakai sarasa was a kind of luxury fabric in its day and even in the present era it is considered as such in Japan. The backing of this fabric is of power loomed, machine spun cotton which indicates that this furoshiki was assembled a few decades after the Sakai sarasa cloth was made.

This is an exceptional object and a good example of old Sakai sarasa. Please note the circle stain on the top, right quadrant and a small one beneath it, both of which are virtually unnoticeable when viewing this furoshiki as a whole.