A Large, Cotton Karakusa Furoshiki: Wonderful Fading and Patina
early-to-mid twentieth century
54" x 68", 137cm x 173 cm
This big, faded cotton furoshiki is very much of the type which was popularly used in Japan during the first half of the twentieth century.
A furoshiki is a carrying or wrapping cloth, and in old Japan almost everything which was transported was wrapped in a furoshiki: it was not uncommon to see burden being carried on someone's back which was tied to them in big furoshiki such as this one.
That said the surface shows much patina and there are disturbances and abrasions to the dyed color, all amply shown in the attached detail photos. The cotton cloth is machine stitched and the pattern is called karakusa, which is an arabesque.
The color is a faded, moss green, quite beautifully dull in tone.
A wonderful thing--a nice table cloth, maybe?