A Mid Century Kotatsu Cover: Pale Colors
ca. mid twentieth century
60" x 58", 152.5 cm x 147 cm
In Japan kotatsu is a traditional form of heating. Imagine a small brazier over which a low table is placed. Layers of square cloth are placed on the table to keep in heat, and the family would sit around the table with their legs under the covers to soak up the warmth generated from the brazier.
This is a particularly interesting kotatsu cover which is hand stitched primarily of commercially produced cottons, mainly in pale tones.
The underlying base cloth is a kind of rich, deep green color on top of which odds and ends of remnant, repurposed cloth are placed. From looking at this kotatsu cover, it can be seen that the top layers of cotton did not entirely cover the base cloth, the result being four triangular shapes and two long rectangular shapes of the green cloth being exposed. A lovely and lively graphic detail, the result of happenstance.
As you can see from the detail photos accompanying this posting, the top layers of hand stitched cotton do not lay flush on the base cloth. However, by any standard, this is a really marvelous, mid-century kotatsu cover, and a beautiful looking old Japanese textile.
Have a look at it on our blog here.