A Powerfully Graphic Large Tsutsugaki Furoshiki: Paulownia Crest
late nineteenth, early twentieth century
57" x 48 1/2", 145 cm x 123 cm
The large size of this piece and the bold frontality of its image make it an impressive Japanese folk textile.
The cloth is hand stitched of four panels of hand spun, hand woven indigo dyed cotton of good weight and texture: the design that dominates the field is a traditional Japanese one, the kiri or paulownia flower.
The image of the kiri is hand drawn in the tsutsugaki method and it is very well done: the resisted lines are steadily drawn and of nice width. The contrasting pale blue and white of the flower in contrast with the inky blue of the background add drama.
This cloth is a furoshiki, a traditional Japanese wrapping/hauling/storage cloth. Because it was used for work, the center of the cloth is slightly distended and there are nicks and small tears to the cloth, some of which are shown on the accompanying photos to give an idea of the type of wear that you will see on this furoshiki. As well, there are some faint stains to the white, undyed areas of the cloth, also shown in detail. On the bottom hem of the furoshiki is narrow band of light fading.
An absolutely beautiful country cloth.