A Length of Tortoise Shell Stenciled Cotton: Offset Dye

$60.00 USD

mid twentieth century
48" x 13", 122 cm x 33 cm

This is an unfinished piece of gauzy-weight cotton that has been dyed in a method called chuusen which relies on stencils and a primitive vacuum machine to transfer a pattern to the cloth.

The basis of the chuusen-dyed design is the hexagon which is a stand-in for the tortoise shell, a symbol of long life.

It is a beautifully simple repeat of hexagons of good proportion: the chuusen dyeing renders lines slightly fuzzed or uneven, which can easily be seen here. Note as well a faint, overlaid offset or transferred pattern within the white, undyed area from stray dye.

There is a passage of faded hand written Japanese kanji on the side of the piece, a bit faded from wear.