A Large Boro Kotatsugake: Many Small Repairs and Plaids

$295.00 USD

mid twentieth century
63" x 63", 160 cm x 160 cm

This handsomely pieced large-sized cotton textile is made from two layers of cotton, and is stitched from hand woven cottons. It is composed of three different plaids, an old striped cloth and plain, hand spun indigo dyed cotton.

Within these plaids and stripes look carefully: in the accompany detail photos are shown the many small repairs which are made to the cloth, each of them a visual delight.

It is a handsome example of Japanese traditional re-purposing of existing material, and, as this piece dates to around the mid-20th century, it is interesting to note that re-purposing of cloth was a practice that continued until fairly recently. However it is interesting to note, and very understandable that, the cloth used to make this textile probably dates to the early twentieth century.

The large, layered cloth was used  as a cover for a kotatsu, a traditional, heated table that would be covered in 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.

This kotatsugake is hand stitched from many different cottons, the pieces are applied in a fairly regular, columnar fashion, with plaids of different sizes, scales and color palettes clashing in the most beautiful way.

The condition of this kotatsugake is good; it shows wear and some light fading which is not surprising.  A really lovely thing.

Here are links to Instagram posts about this piece.

A beautiful cloth from old Japan: recommended.