A Hand Carved Itajime Board: Beautiful on Two Sides

$245.00 USD

ate nineteenth century
9" x 18 3/4", 23 cm x 47.5 cm

Offered here is a hand carved board used in the kyoukechi or itajime process used to create figured cloth like this example here.

Kyokechi or itajime is a laborious and ingenious dyeing process using hand carved wooden boards: a full bolt of cloth is clamped under great pressure between the boards. A tall stack contains the entire bolt which is set in between all the boards. The stack holding the cloth is secured and is then lowered into a dye bath: the parts of cloth that are highly pressurized by the raised parts of the boards resist dye.

Sometimes boards are carved and fitted with drilled holes which let dye in in very specific areas--this one shows many drilled holes which are hard to see on these photos. This board would have been part of a set which was carved in relief and in a group of mirror-images.  These relief carved boards would be clamped face-to-face and the raised areas would meet when clamped, and would resist dye.

This particular board was used to create a white or resisted pattern and it is carved on both sides. It shows a repeat pattern of beautifully rendered chrysanthemums.

The board is carved in good relief and is expertly done. Please note some cracking to the board, especially on the edges.

These itajime or kyoukechi boards are not easy to come by so this is a good opportunity to acquire one if there is interest in this type of traditional Japanese dyeing.

Very recommended.

A Hand Carved Itajime Board: Beautiful on Two Sides