A Kurume Kasuri Kotatsugake: Mended, Lined and Heavy

$525.00 USD

early twentieth century
56" x 50", 142.25 cm x 127 cm

This  reversible cotton textile is hand stitched from a combination of hand woven, kasuri cotton on its front and indigo dyed cotton plaid cloth on its back.  

It is a handsome example of Japanese traditional re-purposing of existing material.

It is made from about three or more layers as a cover for a kotatsu, a traditional, heated table that would be covered with blankets under which members of a family would gather to share warmth.  Electric kotatsugake, or kotatsu covers, are still used to this day in many Japanese homes.

The proper front shows a panel of hand woven kasuri cotton, a cloth woven from yarns that have been resisted before being vat dyed.  When woven, the resisted or undyed areas would come together to form patterns and designs.

This particular type of kasuri cotton was woven on Kyushu island in the Kurume area and the distinctive, bold pattern is typical of kasuri weaving from this area.

The proper back shows plaid, indigo dyed cotton cloth with zones of strong light fading.

The condition of this kotatsugake is old and used. The front shows some faint stains as indicated on the detail photos that accompany this post and there is a small hole that offers a window into the kind of cloth used as filler to give weight to this blanket like cloth. As mentioned above the plaid cotton back shows strong zones of light fading.

This is a wonderfully designed and made utilitarian cloth with a great deal of visual interest and shows the artistic innovation of an anonymous maker from old Japan.