A Hand Carved Itajime Board: Cranes and Wisteria

$245.00 USD

late nineteenth century
9" x 17 1/2", 23 cm x 44.45 cm

Offered here is a lacquered 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 on front and its back is channeled with drilled holes which let dye in in very specific areas. 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 shows a design of cranes frolicking amid a field of wisteria blooms.

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

Very recommended.