A Huge Resist Dyed Yutan or Furniture Cover: Hand Spun Cotton
early to mid twentieth century
72" x 99", 183 cm x 251.5 cm
This huge, grey-colored, tsutsutgaki dyed cotton textile is called a yutan, which is a furniture cover--its odd shape is explained by its function.
The cotton is hand woven and most certainly seems hand spun. And there are four, crudely executed crests which show the stylized paulownia flower, very simply rendered in the tsutsugaki or free hand paste resist method. Curious is that the blue guide lines used in the resisting of the crests are still visible and were not washed out when the rice paste resist was removed from this cloth.
As well, notice that there is some smudging of fading near the dye on the proper, left bottom roundel (as shown here). There are very fragile and delicate red dyed crepe silk ties that are tattered and barely attached to this yutan and of course these would have been used to secure this large cloth around the chest it was meant to protect. Long, hemp-thread basting stitches are still intact on this hand sewn textile.
With an infinite number of potential uses, this is a really wonderful--and large amount--of hand woven, hand dyed cotton from old Japan.