A Hearth Textile of a Great Amount of Narumi Kongata: Lavish Cloth

$625.00 USD

early to mid twentieth century
55" x 51", 139.5 cm x 129.5 cm

This large, off-square, indigo dyed cotton textile is heavily sashiko stitched and is composed of about two layers of cloth. 

It is a remarkable textile for the large quantity of lavish and precious katazome dyed cloth that is employed to create this piece. In this case the katazome dyed cotton is of a special type called Narumi kongata.

Narumi kongata is a katazome technique that employs multiple stencils which are specially designed to create a shibori effect: the result is something that can trick the eye and this was probably part of the sly pleasure in developing this labor intensive stencil resist dyeing technique.

Needless to say that in its day Narumi kongata was pricey--and it still is today. For this reason it is a wild indulgence to have used so much of this precious cloth in the service of this every day, domestic cloth.

The Narumi kongata is handsome and beautifully designed. It shows a repeat pattern of large-scale paulownia flowers against a background of imitation miura shibori. Black toned dye was added to the warm toned indigo for depth and detail.

The proper front of the piece is composed entirely of Narumi kongata while the back shows two panels, one of which is piece. There is some very, very slight yellowing to this piece in limited zones, barely noticeable, if at all.

In Japan textiles are used around a hearth. A hearth is called a kotatsu which is table top with a heated brazier below it. Textiles would have been place below the hearth and on top of the table so the edges would drape over the laps of the family who were seated around the hearth to enjoy its warmth.

Highly recommended and a remarkably interesting and rare find.