A Length of Gorgeous Katazome Cotton: Patched
early twentieth century
70" x 12 3/4", 178 cm x 32.5 cm
This is a richly patterned length of katazome cotton and one that bears some beautiful, meaningful symbols.
The length is shows a background of arabesque and the roundel designs that are overlaid on the arabesque are stylized plum, pine and bamboo or shochikubai: shochikubai, is the design triad of bamboo, pine and plum blossoms, which conveys good wishes. Plum shows courage as its blossoms, the first of the year, burst forth from under ice, the bamboo is resilience since it bends but does not break and the pine is a symbol of long life and also of a faithful marriage as its needles fall in pairs.
Shochikubai is a design motif often seen on textiles connected to the bridal trousseau because of its good meaning--and this length of figured cotton was most likely taken from a futon cover that very possibly was part of a bridal trousseau.
Hand stitched to the surface of the cloth are three small patches of contrasting katazome pattern which add a bit of charm and delicacy to the overall effect.
A gorgeous length of katazome dyed cotton.