A Pieced Katazome Length: Three Patterns
ca. late nineteenth century
68" x 13", 172.75 cm x 33 cm
This is an interesting length of indigo dyed katazome cotton, and one with good age and a great deal of visual interest.
The length is hand stitched from three distinct pieces of katazome cloth and it shows three different patterns.
The pattern on the top of the length is a repeat of hexagons, or kikko, the tortoise shell pattern. Within the hexagons are seen peonies and cranes.
The middle section of this length shows tsuru kame or the famous motif which pairs the crane and the tortoise, two symbols of longevity. Their large scale is attractive and impressive.
Finally, the bottom fragment is both tsuru kame and shochikubai seen in roundels, shochikubai being a traditional design motif composed of the auspicious pine, bamboo and plum: plum shows courage as its blossoms burst forth from under ice, the bamboo is resilience since it bends but does not break and the pine is a symbol of long life--and of a faithful marriage as its needles fall in pairs.
A really marvelous length of old cotton and one that is rich in design and symbolism.