A Length of Patched Itajime Dyed Cotton: Safflower Dye

$45.00 USD

late nineteenth, early twentieth century
36 1/2" x 12 3/4", 92.5 cm x 32.5 cm

This length of safflower or benibana dyed cotton is decorated in the itajime or kyoukechi method, a resist dye technique which uses carved boards and applied pressure to resist the cloth in order to produce patterns.  

This particular fragment of cloth shows a repeat pattern of the shochikubai motif and cherry blossoms in mirror image: this mirroring effect is due to the way that the cloth is boards are positioned when clamping the cloth. 

Shochikubai, is the design triad of bamboo, pine and plum blossoms, which conveys good wishes.  Plum shows courage as its blossoms, the first of the year, burst forth from under ice, the bamboo is resilience since it bends but does not break and the pine is a symbol of long life and also of a faithful marriage as its needles fall in pairs.

In roughly the center of this fragment is a large, solid-colored safflower-dyed cotton patch which acts as a visual foil to the figured ground.

A lovely and collectible length of resist dyed cotton.

A Length of Patched Itajime Dyed Cotton: Safflower Dye