A Length of Itajime Shibori: Luminous Sekka
mid twentieth century
52" x 13 1/4", 132 cm x 33.5 cm
This crisp and slightly wrinkled cotton cloth is dyed in the itajime shibori or clamp dyed method which produced the hexagon-based pattern we see here. This length is made from two pieces of cloth: there is a very short fragment which is machine stitched to the longer piece.
To achieve the shibori pattern seen here, the cotton was folded in a series of triangular folds, then clamped, and then the edges were dyed. The result is this field of blue on white, kaleidoscopic, six pointed "flowers" which are configured more or less along the lines of a hexagon.
The hexagon form is important to note as it is the tortoiseshell motif, which is a symbol meaning long life, a conveyance that anyone would wish for the baby wearing this diaper.
The indigo color is extremely vivid and intense and, as noted above, the cotton shows ingrained creases and wrinkles.