A Length of Rustic Jishiro Katazome: Tortoiseshell
ca. early twentieth century
67" x 13 1/4", 170 cm x 33.5 cm
This length of beautifully crafted, hand loomed cotton is dyed in the katazome method, where a hand cut stencil was used as a guide for resist dyeing.
This panel was taken from a futon cover.
The quality of the katazome is rustic, not refined. The pattern is bold, there are gaps in the dye, the design is heavy-handed--but because of all these qualities, this is a very good-looking length of jishiro, or blue-one-white katazome cloth.
The pattern is kikko or tortoise shell: kikko is a popular motif because it signifies a wish for long life. Inside each of the tortoiseshell hexagons is a stylized chrysanthemum, another well-used design in Japanese textiles.
The overall condition of this piece is good for being almost 100 years old and for being used. And the repeat pattern is just beautiful.