A Large, Five Panel Zanshi ori Futon Cover: Indigo Dyed Cotton
early to mid twentieth century
68" x 60", 172.5 cm x 152.5 cm
Zanshi ori is cloth that is woven from threads either leftover from home production of yarn making, or from broken threads that were purchased from local commercial weavers. Usually the weft is fed with these random threads while generally the warp is regulated producing an irregular horizontal 'striping'; if home threads are used, knotted slubs can often be seen.
Zanshi ori is mottainai in action, mottainai being a Japanese philosophical concept which cautions not to waste anything.
This large, five-panel, indigo dyed cotton cloth is completely hand stitched and it was once the body of a futon cover, which is basically like our modern-day duvet.
What is wonderful about this large cloth made of zanshi ori is that we can very clearly see the variation in the weft yarns since this futon cover was cut from a long bolt of leftover yarn woven cloth: this futon cover represents about 9 1/2 yards, 8.75 m of continuous zanshi ori, which is probably the better part of a full bolt of the stuff.
This cloth is well-worn as can be seen by the frayed, left edge of the piece, by some ingrained creases, and from some pin head sized holes which are very hard to see. Otherwise this cloth is in good, used condition and the cotton is still quite strong. The back side of the cloth still shows some embedded bits of cotton batting from its life as a comforter.
A wonderful opportunity to own such a lavish length of zanshi ori cotton which is handsomely colored and in good condition.