A Large Mat of Loosely Woven Hemp: Wiry Yarn
ca. early to mid twentieth century
66" x 32", 167.5 cm x 61.5 cm
This is a quite large area of hemp cloth, the fibers of which are thick, undyed and wiry--and the weaving is loose and mesh-like.
Hemp cloth such as this one, it seems, were used to rinse rice during the sake making process, hence the open weave which allowed the rice to be rinsed and the water to run off the newly-cleaned rice.
This mesh piece does show some slight discoloration from wear and age, a kind of gentle greying in soft areas, shown in the accompanying photos. Although this cloth is in good, crisp condition, we can see that it has indeed been used to wash rice grains as there is one, lone grain of rice that is precariously fused to the surface of the cloth!
The wiry, barely twisted yarns are just gorgeous, and this large mat of laxly woven hemp cloth begs to be used in an interior setting.