A Pieced Hand Stitched Shikimono: Sleeping Mat or Under Futon

$295.00 USD

early to mid twentieth century
69 14" x 36 1/4", 176 cm x 92 cm

This lovely, piece constructed, fairly large-sized cloth is fashioned from re-purposed cotton pieces and is referred to as a shikimono. 

The proportions of the cloth related to the human body--with good reason.  This kind of cloth would be placed under a futon for sleep, or, perhaps, in the summer it would be a sleeping mat and would be used directly.

Used cottons in a variety of types, shades and scale are arranged to create the area needed for each side of this shikimono: the proper front of the shows large scale plaids in two designs, small scale kasuri in two patterns and at the bottom, rather wide stripes.

The dark, rich color tone of the back of this shikimono relates to the constraints of daily life in old Japan: until the end of the 19th century, in Japan, laws were enforced which said that most of the population had to dress in clothing of hemp or cotton which was dark in color and did not have large, contrasting designs.  The color and the patterns of the cotton cloth which comprises this shikimono are reflective of the historical strictures placed on the population of old Japan.

Beautifully designed and executed, this cloth is lovely, and can be acquired just to be looked at and admired, or, as the cotton and stitching are still very strong, it can be put to use in the home in a variety of ways, from an area rug (in low traffic areas) to a dressing for the bed, and more.

Please note some threadbare areas on the surface of the plaid/striped/kasuri side of the shikimono.

A boro beauty.