A Length of Shifu: Recycled Paper Yarn and Cotton Warp
late nineteenth, early twentieth century
25 1/2" x 14 3/4", 65 cm x 37.5 cm
This is a beautifully rustic fragment of shifu which is cloth woven from shredded paper.
In this case, the warp yarns are two shades of indigo dyed cotton which lend a vertically-oriented striated effect to this woven fragment.
The weft yarns, however, are hand cut from recycled paper, most likely pages from an accounting book something like this one. If you look at the surface of this length of shifu you will see small black blips that populate the weft portion of the cloth; these small markings are ink-based hand writing, and it is this detail that is desirable when considering a rustic shifu fragment.
This piece of cloth is well-used and seems to be taken from a kimono sleeve, judging from the piece's wear pattern. Each side of the fragment is shown here in order to give a better sense of its condition: it is well-worn and shows some ingrained dirt and creasing on one of its two sides.
Still, this is a very collectible length of old cloth and one that will be as much a treasure in years to come as it is now.
A rare treat.