A Hand Carved Wooden Itajime Board: Broken Corners

$165.00 USD

late nineteenth century
8 3/4" x 18 1/2", 22 cm x 47 cm

Offered here is a hand carved board used in the kyoukechi or itajime process used to create figured cloth.like this example here. As can easily be seen this board shows cracks and some areas of loss.

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 however in the case of the one offered here, boards are carved in relief and in sets of mirror-image.  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 pattern of cherry blossoms and broken masu or square grain measures.


A lovely thing to own and something hard to come by.