A Meiji Era Katazome Fragment: Folding Fans and Peonies
ca. late nineteenth
25" x 13", 63.5 cm x 33 cm
This short length of boldly patterned, indigo dyed katazome cloth is hand woven from hand spun cotton; it is rich in "thread flavor" or, as the Japanese like to say, ito aji, which is probably one of the most important descriptors when discussing old Japanese cotton cloth.
In this case, this length of cloth shows a repeat of elaborately rendered, large-scale folding fans and peonies which are set against a backdrop of swirling, breezy, gradient white lines, encouraging an airy effect to the overall pattern.
As can be seen in the accompanying photographs, the cloth has been used hard and is evenly and lightly faded. As well, there is a good-sized notch missing from the upper, right hand corner, and a few holes to the ragged selvedge.
That said, this graphically interesting cloth is beautiful for its great threads and its wonderful vivid, large-scale pattern.