A Length of Tattered 19th Century Crepe Silk: Gromwell Root Dyed

$50.00 USD

mid to late nineteenth century
24 1/2" x 13 3/4", 61.5 cm x 35 cm

This is a length of nineteenth century flyaway-weight crepe silk that is so lightweight that it almost does not have body.

This kind of very fine silk was used on kimono and under-kimono in the nineteenth century and this type of silk was only able to be used because of the construction of the garment which was sometimes lightly padded with cotton.

The dyestuff used to obtain the purplish color is shikon or gromwell root which is usually associated with northeastern Japan or the Tohoku region. Shikon is notoriously light fugitive so it is important not to expose this length to direct sunlight.

The katazome pattern is playful: it is a repeat pattern of gourds that are designed in such a way as to appear brushy, as if they were painted on the cloth. The length is old and there is loss to the cloth which is easy to see on the accompanying photos.

It is not recommended to used this cloth is design or fashion projects unless the project is able to bear the supreme delicacy of this cloth. More than anything this might be nice as a design reference, to display as art, or to enjoy for its color which is derived from a botanical source.

Although tattered this is just beautiful.