A Length of Katazome Cotton: Tortoise Shell Motif
late nineteenth century
58" x 13", 147.25 cm x 33 cm
The stencil resist pattern on this length of cloth represents tortoise shell. It is an unusual depiction of this design motif because of the way the hexagon shapes are situated far from one another and because they are framed by a frame of radiating white dots which give them a kind of solar or snow flake effect, depending how you view them.
The length is taken from a futon cover and shows a fair amount of overall wear which is natural for a hand woven, hand dyed cloth that has put in decades of service.
The length is of a good weight and the cotton yarns are more than likely hand spun.
It is a wonderfully unusual depiction the classic tortoise shell pattern and a marvelous, traditional cloth from old Japan.