A Pieced and Patched Koshimaki: Wonderful Katazome Cottons
early to mid twentieth century
26" x 45", 66 cm x 114.25 cm
This large, extremely attractive "collage" of hand dyed indigo cottons is a koshimaki or a woman's undergarment, a kind of half-slip that wraps around the body, worn under a kimono.
The base cloth is stencil resist dyed, or katazome. The pattern is a wonderful and complex one that shows both the asa no ha or hemp leaf pattern along with the traditional tortoiseshell or kikko pattern. On the top, left hand corner there is a piece of differently patterned katazome cloth which shows a pattern of igeta or well covers.
Overlaid onto this base of katazome cloth are three patches, two of which appear to be a dull, dark green silk and cotton mix, with the large, central patch being indigo dyed cotton.
The base cloth, the richly patterned katazome, is still crisp an relatively unused. In fact, the condition of this koshimaki is so good that it seems that it was hand stitched and then not worn. If it was worn, it was done so very lightly.
An absolutely gorgeous textile from old Japan.