A Large and Fine Patched Cotton Furoshiki: Sashiko Kanji
ca. mid twentieth century
68" x 64", 172.5 cm x 162.5 cm
This very generously-sized furoshiki (a traditional wrapping cloth used to transport goods or to store them) is sashiko stitched on its right and left sides, as well as on the top left/ bottom right opposing corners. Sashiko stitched onto these corners are Chinese characters or kanji which show a family or business name. The furoshiki is hand stitched from five separate panels of hand loomed cloth.
The indigo color of this furoshiki is unusual. Instead of being piece dyed in indigo as many sashiko stitched furoshiki are, this one is woven from a warp of undyed cotton, while the weft was fed using indigo dyed yarns. The result is a kind of silvery blue tone, almost a sharkskin effect, and one that is not often seen in this kind of textile.
You can see that there is a centrally placed reinforcement panel, a customary effect on large furoshiki. This panel is composed of three pieces of cloth, and it is reinforced with a very nice looking, white-stitched diamond in the center of the square patch.
The furoshiki shows five mending patches and a spray of faint, bean-sized stains, mainly to the center panel. Otherwise this furoshiki is in very good condition, and it is very handsome overall.