A Length of Resist Dyed Cotton: Ancient Motif
early twentieth century
51" x 12 1/2", 129.5 cm x 31.5 cm
This length of rather lightweight, power loomed cotton is resist dyed and shows a large repeat pattern of roundels encircling the legendary phoenix.
The design which graces this cloth is based on an old one: patterns such as this were popular during China's Tang Dynasty (618-907) and their exotic look is due to the fact that such motifs came from Central Asia to China via the Silk Road. Early Buddhist temples in Japan, such as Todaiji, which dates to the early 8th century, are based on the style of Tang Dynasty temples, and, in fact, Todaiji's famed repository of historical artifact, Shoso in, contains examples of Tang Dynasty cloth on which the design of this one shown here is based.
The colors on this cloth are close in register and saturation: the contrast is low. Notice the wonderful repair on this cloth which is hand stitched.
This piece of fancy patterned cotton is taken from a furoshiki.
Beautiful, and with very interesting historical references.