A Length of Twice Dyed Katazome: Tortoiseshell Pattern

$75.00 USD

late nineteenth, early twentieth century
29" x 13", 73.5 cm x 33 cm

This is a length of blue-on-blue indigo dyed cotton katazome cloth, the blue-on-blue technique is referred to as ai gaeshi or, said another way, it is "twice dyed."

The pattern is complex.

It is a large scale pattern of hexagons which, in the Japanese vernacular, is a short hand for tortoise shell. This kind of tortoise-related pattern was meant to convey a wish for long life. Inside each of the hexagons is a pattern of interlocking circles, a Buddhist motif. And inside, at the center, of the hexagons is a four petaled flower, probably what is known as a "melon" flower.

The length is slightly faded and shows one snag which is pictured here on the attendant detail images.

This piece of old katazome certainly packs a punch with its many-layered motifs and its richly colored surface.