A Length of Intricate Narumi Kongata Cotton: Gourds and Geese
ca. late nineteenth century
27" x 12 1/4", 68.5 cm x 30.5 cm
This fragment is an example of Narumi kongata, a kind of multi-stenciled resist dye that is meant to mimic shibori and is often very complex in image and technique.
The cotton piece shown here is light faded with a dark area down the right hand side of the cloth (as can be seen in the accompanying images), but the piece is still very beautiful in its execution and its imagery.
The field is stencil resisted and is meant to look like tie dye--the repeat shows stylized wild geese, gourds and box like forms in neat rows of rigid repetition. Note the detail applied to each, individual image: the stencils used to resist each image noted is complex in its cutting and shows a magnificent vibrancy.
Of the stencil resist cloth to be found in Japan, Narumi kongata is one of the most precious, and from the labor intensive and skilled artisanry that was employed to create this complex length of cloth we can easily Narumi kongata is so revered.
A wonderful fragment of wonderful dyeing from old Japan.