A Piece Constructed Tsumugi Silk Textile: Resist Dyed
ca. mid to late nineteenth century
44" x 27", 112 cm x 68.5 cm
This medium-blue colored indigo dyed silk cloth is hand woven from tsumugi, a kind of imperfect, home-made silk. It is very lightweight to the touch, and by looking at its textured surface, you can see that the cloth is homespun and hand woven.
This piece is hand stitched together from four separate pieces, and there is a marvelous, small design that is stencil resist dyed into the fabric--and this stencil resist dyed motif is further embellished by very fine, hand drawn, black lines, which add detail and clarity to the images.
Resist dyed on the cloth is the famous shochikubai or the trio of plum, pine and bamboo. The combination is auspicious and popular: plum is courage as it is the first flower to burst forth from under winter ice, bamboo is resilience as it bends but does not break, and pine is long life and conjugal fidelity.
The cloth is very nice in the hand; there is a small cluster of faint staining dead-center, but otherwise the silk is in fine, faded, and slightly worn condition.
The images, small and scattered, are lovely.