A Meiji Era Shibori Fragment: Machine Stitched Resist
late nineteenth, early twetnieth century
92" x 12 1/2", 234 cm x 31.5 cm
This is a beautiful, and unusual, length of shibori cloth. It appears that the net motif that is the dominant one was achieved by a little-practiced stitched shibori technique, that is, using a sewing machine to help in resisting areas of cloth from dye.
Inside each of the "holes" of the stylized net design is a tied shibori that seems to have been dyed rather quickly and with little regard for precision.
The reason for these brash colors--and for the red of the body of the cloth--is that chemical dyes were used to dye this cloth. That said, it appears that whoever dyed this cloth was not quite used to using synthetic dyes, which accounts for the uncharacteristically sloppy application of the blue, yellow and pink splotches.
The lightweight cotton shows some light staining and a prominently placed hole which is shown in the accompanying detail photos.
This is a very unusual and attractive length of cloth which has good age and an interesting back story.