A Length of Kasuri Cotton: Tamba
ca. early twentieth century
63" x 14 1/4", 160 cm x 36 cm
The Japanese speak of ito aji, or "thread taste" when describing a wonderful cotton cloth that is hand woven from hand spun cotton. This piece of hand woven cotton kasuri cloth is a rich in ito aji--and it has a marvelous provenance.
This cloth was woven in Tamba, in Kyoto prefecture, which is home to the famous Tambafu, a country cloth of a cotton warp and a tsumugi silk weft that has become very much associated with Yanagi Soetsu and his Mingei movement. Tambafu is deeply treasured in Japan; it is one of the most precious traditional, rural textiles.
The indigo of this length of crisp white resist dyed checks is a deep blue-black. There is one small hole and 5 patches along the length of the wonderfully woven, very gorgeous piece of cloth from Tamba.
Pay special attention to the two, small, white-stitched shapes at the top and bottom of this length: most likely these are semamori or stitches which are applied with intention of warding off evil and offering protection.