A Pieced Length of Faded Katazome Cotton: Tsuru Kame

$80.00 USD

ca. late nineteenth century
68 1/2" x 13 1/2", 172.5 cm x 34.25 cm 

This length of indigo dyed cotton shows a beautiful patina and lovely fading from years--or decades--of use as part of a futon cover in old Japan.  The length is comprised of three, separate pieces which are hand stitched together.

The pattern is a delicate tracery of auspicious symbols.   

Shown in roundels are both the crane and the tortoise, both symbols of long life.  In addition to being a symbol that conveys wishes for longevity, the crane is also a symbol of conjugal fidelity as cranes mate for life.

Along with these roundels, in the background, are stylized noshi.  

Noshi is dried abalone that is stretched into long, ribbon like strips.  The word noshi is a homonyn for the word “prolong,” so it became customary to include noshi with a gift as a symbol of longevity and prolonged happiness.
It is more than likely that the textile from which this fragment was taken was made expressly for a couple's wedding trousseau--wedding trousseau textiles are often decorated with exuberant designs, and the designs always represent a good-intentioned wish of fair tidings for the newly married couple.

A really lovely length of katazome cloth.
A Pieced Length of Faded Katazome Cotton: Tsuru Kame