A Layered Mat or Zokin: Modern Kasuri
early to mid twentieth century
23" x 12", 58.5 cm x 30.5 cm
A zokin is a traditional Japanese dust cloth or cleaning rag; it is usually made from old pieces of cloth and it is usually layered and stitched for durability.
Along with diapers, zokin are among the traditional household textiles that represent the end of the line where the repurposing or recycling of cloth is concerned.
This example shows a zokin, two layers thick, which is stitched together from a commercially produced kasuri cloth fragment on one side which is done in tones of red, white and black, while its reverse side is a faded, indigo dyed cotton piece which was presumably taken from an existing textile, perhaps a noragi or a futon cover.