A Length of Purple and Yellow Plaid Cloth: Gromwell Root Dye
late nineteenth, early twentieth century
58" x 13 1/2", 147.25 cm x 34.25 cm
This beautifully colored length of striped and checked cloth seems almost assuredly to be dyed using gromwell root, known in Japan as shikon, which yields a wonderful, warm, purplish color and which is the highlight of this piece.
The purple warp yarns are interspersed by white cotton; the weft is detailed with yellowish bars.
The entire length was probably taken from a futon cover and it shows eight patches, each of which is hand stitched to the base.
Further indication that the purple color is the result of gromwell root is viewing the reverse side of this piece which is beautifully light-faded; gromwell root is notoriously light fugitive and is easy to fade.