A Length of 19th CenturyTsumugi Silk: Resist Dyed Bats
ca. mid to late nineteenth century
44" x 14 3/4", 112 cm x 37.5 cm
What a lovely and delicate old fabric, and one that shows an enticing, resist dyed pattern.
This length of lightweight, almost flyaway, silk is called tsumugi, a kind of home made, hand woven silk; it is a fragment which has been taken from a juban or an underkimono which oftentimes was made of patchwork silks and cottons.
The color is a really appealing sky blue color or asagi as it is called in Japan; the texture, if you look at the accompanying photographs, is striated from weft yarns of varying, hand spun widths.
Aside from the glossy sheen of the fabric, its gorgeous, watery blue color and its hand woven texture, it is the katazome dyed pattern of stylized bats and willows, just lovely.
The bat, as many of you know, is a symbol of good fortune in Japan and China; in Japan this is the result of one of the written kanji in the Japanese word for bat, komori, can be read to mean "good fortune."
This lovely length of cloth shows areas of exceedingly faint staining and discoloration on its entire length as well as a band of darker blue on one of the long sides which indicates where this cloth was hidden from light.
Beautiful, delicate and collectible.