A Long Piece of Itajime or Kyoukechi Dyed Cotton: Board Dyed Cloth
early twentieth century
95" x 6 1/2", 241.5 cm x 16.5 cm
This long piece of lovely cotton is dyed in the itajime or kyoukech imethod, a resist dye technique which uses carved boards and applied pressure to resist the cloth in order to produce patterns.
This fragment of cloth is hand stitched together from two pieces and it is narrow because it has been cut up the length. It shows a complex repeat pattern of cherry blossoms floating in a stream rendered in mirror image: this mirroring effect is due to the way that the cloth is boards are positioned when clamping the cloth. In this fragment, just between the mirrored images, you can see a gap of sorts: it is here the cloth has been folded as it is interleaved between the carved boards.
The pale orange color of the cloth is likely the result of safflower dye which was often used in kyoukechi or itajime dyed cottons.