A Length of Very Faded Sakai Sarasa: Indian Inspired Cotton from Osaka

$95.00 USD

mid to late nineteenth century
57 3/4" x 12 3/4", 146.75 x 32.5 cm 

This is a length of Japanese stencil dyed, hand spun, hand woven cotton cloth that is meant to evoke the feeling of Indian trade cloth or sarasa.

Sarasa was collected by connoisseurs of beauty in Japan who were people of great means and high social position. The fact that sarasa was imported and exotic was a lure for attraction--and add to that the mastery of hand drawn design, color and dye achieved by Indian textile artisans that drew interested from Japan's elite.

Sakai sarasa, of which this is an example, is named for the Sakai area of Osaka where this type of cloth was produced.

This length is heavily faded to a now powdery tonal scale. When this length was first dyed it was dyed in fairly saturated colors, rich tones, which have now softened to being almost unnoticeable. It is a beautiful effect.

The cloth used to for Sakai sarasa is a hand spun, hand woven cotton that is often gauzy  or clingy when draped and this length shows those characteristics.

Sakai sarasa was a kind of luxury fabric in its day and even in the present era it is considered as such in Japan.

This is a gorgeous length of cloth and a good example that shows that the passage of time and the exertion of wear can create a new form of beauty.