A Length of Indigo Dyed Katazome Cotton: Tsurukame and Noshi

$75.00 USD

late nineteenth, early twentieth century
36" x 13", 91.5 cm x 33 cm

This is a length of indigo dyed cotton katazome cloth that shows a marvelous and auspicious group of images.

The crane and the tortoise are both rendered as roundels and each is a symbol of longevity. Because of this and because their symbolism fortifies the other one when shown in pairs called tsurukame (tsuru, crane and kame, tortoise) this set of symbols is often seen on textiles that comprised a wedding trousseau. Cranes, also symbolize conjugal fidelity.

The large, abstract whooshes that fill the background are noshi which are traditional wishes for good luck: they are dried strips of abalone which were often attached to gifts.

This length of old cloth is jam packed with good meaning. The reddish highlights are done with an iron oxide based pigment dye called bengara.

In good, used condition this is a wonderful length of old katazome cloth, handsome as it is rich in meaning.