A Length of Edo Komon Dyed Cotton: Minuscule Pattern and Family Crest

$75.00 USD

kamid nineteenth century
38" x 13", 96.5 cm x 33 cm

This is a length of the marvelous, nineteenth century katazome dyed cotton cloth known as Edo komon, or what can be translated as Edo era all-over patterned cloth.

Edo komon, is a small figured, all-over patterned cloth that was popular in the late Edo period (1603-1868). 

During this time period the central government enforced laws on the population which regulated almost all aspects of life, dress included.  

Most people in Edo era Japan were ordered by the government to dress in subtle, dark colors and small patterns; because of this, elaborate, very small patterned cloth was developed and then became popular, the reason being was that one could still wear figured clothing while not breaking any of the sumptuary laws that were laid down. 

Countless tiny-figured designs were developed during this period and for this reason we know that the cloth which was used to create this garment dates to the 19th century.  The pattern here is made entirely of small dots and seems to be a crowded repeat of stone lanterns and tortoises although it is not easy to discern. 

A highlight to this length is the family crest that appears at the top, left of the length, and the family crest is a stylized plum blossom.

This length is made of finely woven cotton and shows ingrained creases from its former life as a jacket.