A Magnificent Kyoukechi and Sashiko Stitched Textile: Two Stunning Sides
ca. early to mid twentieth century
42" x 12 1/2", 106.5 cm x 31.5 cm
This is a really fantastic cotton textile, even when considered from various viewpoints: from the beautiful design, to the techniques used to create the patterns, to the pairing of the front and back images, to the hand sashiko stitching which joins the front and back, to the very good condition of the textile itself.
The front shows a base cloth in the asa no ha or traditional hemp leaf pattern, the design acheived by either the kyoukechi/ itajime method or by the chusen method of dyeing (more likely the itajime method was used). Over this are stencil applied images of gourds and maple leaves which seen to float over the surface.
The reverse is almost lovelier: seen here is, yes, a field of itajime dyed cloth, in a pale blue tone, blue-on-white, in the cross-cords pattern. Superimposed over this base design is a darker repeat of stars and rice measures, each image slightly bleeding, which is lovely.
Look carefully at the attached photos and you will notice the white sashiko stitching, which is done in a kind of concentric, angular movement. Just lovely.
This cloth is too long to have been a diaper, but it may have been. It is also too pale in color to have been a head dress, but it may have been.
In either case, it is a really magnificent conglomeration of good quality, hand dyed cloth from old Japan, and it comes very highly recommended.
In very good condition.