A Length of Katazome Cotton: Pine, Tortoise, Crane
late nineteenth, early twentieth century
45" x 13", 114.25 cm x 33 cm
This is a wonderful length of indigo dyed katazome cotton, whose design is a result of stencil resist dyeing.
The motif is of pine branches, cranes and tortoises--the katazome technique used is to create the design is rustic and imperfect, which lengs a bit of charm.
Each of the images on the cloth is symbolic: the pine suggests a wish for longevity and for marital fidelity since its needles fall in pairs; the crane also is a symbol of conjugal fidelity since it mates for life--it is also a symbol of longevity as well as beauty; the tortoise, above all, is a wish for a long life.
The base cloth of cotton is beautiful in and of itself: it is hand woven from hand spun cotton yarns.
A beautiful fragment of cloth--probably from a bridal trousseau--that stirs memories of old Japan.