A Length of Katazome Cotton: Boro Backing
ca. late nineteenth, early twentieth century
50" x 12 3/4", 127 cm x 32.5 cm
This is a wonderful, layered, and "reversible" old cotton cloth from Japan; it is a fragment from a boro futon cover which was decorated in the katazome or stencil resist method.
The patterned side of this boro length would have been the side that was "shown." The patched side would have been the lining of the futon cover, and the patches, obviously, served to reinforce and mend the precious katazome cloth.
The katazome pattern shown is that of a highly stylized chrysanthemum amid a field of arabesques called karakusa. The indigo dye of the katazome side of the cloth has oxidized and turned a silver grey color, which often happens with old katazome cloth.
This is a really wonderful cloth from old Japan, which can cater to your moods: pattern or patched.