A Generous Length of Complex Pictorial Narumi Kongata: Shrimp and Grain Measures

$225.00 USD
late nineteenth, early twentieth century

66 1/2" x 13 1/2", 169 cm x 34 cm

This is a quite generously sized length of exceedingly intricate katazome dyed, hand spun, hand woven cotton: it is a type of stencil resist dyeing called Narumi kongata which uses multiple stencils to create soft edges that mimic shibori.

On this length--one full panel taken from a futon cover--which depicts a repeat pattern of shrimp and grain measures Narumi kongata is shown to its best advantage.

The background is "textured" to look like miura shibori. The edges of the nested grain measures are meant to look like stitched shibori--and they do. Likewise the large, curved and articulated shrimp are designed to seem tie-dyed--and they do.

This is something of a tour de force of multi-stenciled dyeing and it shows undyed cotton, two tones of indigo and some darker, black-dyed areas which give depth.

The symbolism of the images is interesting.

Because the shrimp are bent or curved--as the bodies of elderly people can be very late in their lives--shrimp symbolize a wish for long life. The grain measure or masu signifies multiplying abundance.

This length of cotton is rich in meaning.

Its indigo color is still strong and rich and the length is in good, used condition.

Very recommended.