A Katazome Dyed Furoshiki: Deep Indigo Pattern in Crisp Condition

$195.00 USD

early twentieth century
44 1/4" x 33 cm, 112.5 cm x 84 cm

This seemingly unused and handsome old indigo dyed cotton cloth is a furoshiki.

A furoshiki is a traditional wrapping cloth that was meant to haul, pack, carry and store bundles of items--furoshiki are still very much used today all over Japan.

This one is of crisp, katazome dyed cotton that shows a spirited repeat pattern of folding fans with images of butterflies or plum, bamboo and pine or shochikubai.  

Shochikubai, is the design triad of bamboo, pine and plum blossoms, which conveys good wishes.  Plum shows courage as its blossoms, the first of the year, burst forth from under ice, the bamboo is resilience since it bends but does not break and the pine is a symbol of long life and also of a faithful marriage as its needles fall in pairs.

There are star-like designs which is in fact an abbreviated and highly stylized caption of a traditional, interlocking hexagon pattern. Triangles containing triangles also dot the design and these are meant to evoke the notion of fish scales. The large-scale curved designs are, like the starry ones, a caption of a larger motif of the interlocking circles.

The furoshiki is hand stitched of four pieces and it is in very good condition.