A Length of Bengara Dyed Stenciled Cotton: Auspicious Noshi

$90.00 USD

early twentieth century
33 1/2" x 13 1/2", 85 cm x 34 cm

Bengara is an iron oxide-derived pigment dye that was used in Japan for the coloring of cloth and sometimes for toning the material used to plaster the outside of homes. The word bengara is a corruption of Bengal which indicates iron oxide production might have been prevalent in this Indian state.

Bengara is reddish-brown in color as can be seen here. In the case of this cloth it seems that the pigmented dyestuff was applied directly to the cloth through a stencil and was not resist dyed which is the case with katazome cloth.

The pattern is that of noshi which is rendered two ways, as roundels and in stylized, tied bundles. Noshi is strips of dried abalone that were offered with gifts as a symbol of fortune.

This length is seemingly unused. The bottom edge is nice looking as you can see where the bengara was brushed onto the white cotton cloth.

Rare and beautiful.