A Length of Katazome Cotton: Inventive and Complex Pattern

$80.00 USD

late nineteenth, early twentieth century
32" x 12 1/2", 81 cm x 31.5 cm

This length of katazome dyed cotton shows a large-scale repeat pattern that is slightly deceptive. At first glance we see plum blossoms and brushy well covers in a playfully symmetrical display on the length.

Upon closer inspection we notice that the plums are in fact three popular motifs in one: stylized pine, bamboo and plum are artfully integrated into the form of a plum blossom.

This combination of plum, bamboo and pine is known as shochikubai.

Shochikubai is a classic, auspicious pattern and it is often depicted on cloth to be included in a bridal trousseau.  The plum is the first bloom to burst forth from the winter's ice and is symbol of strength, the bamboo bends but does not break so it is a symbol of resilience, and the pine, of course conveys a wish for longevity.  Also, pine needles fall in pairs, and thus they are a motif often used at weddings.

The length seems to be hand woven of hand spun cotton and it shows some faint surface wear and fading commensurate with its age and use.

Really lovely.

A Length of Katazome Cotton: Inventive and Complex Pattern