A Length of Beautifully Faded Cotton Katazome: Contrasting Patches
ca. late nineteenth century
59" x 13", 150 cm x 33 cm
The patina of this length of old, indigo dyed katazome cotton shows very well that when indigo is old and faded it is often more beautiful than when it is new and brightly colored.
The indigo color of this patched length is soft and worn, and for the most part it shows a field of a repeat pattern of pine needles and tiny, origami cranes, pine and cranes, both being wishes for longevity.
The two patches on the surface of this pine and crane resist dyed cotton show another delicate pattern, in this case it is cherry blossoms and shippo tsunagi, an interlocking circle pattern which references Buddhism in that it is called the "seven treasures" pattern as it is said to suggest the seven sacred jewels mentioned in Buddhist sutras.
Hand stitched to the bottom of the length is a plain blue piece of cotton which is patched.
This is a really lovely length of cotton, with good age and a good deal of interesting symbolism embedded in the design of the cloth.