A Rare and Re-Purposed Length of Indigo Dyed Pictorial Shibori: Red Snapper

$185.00 USD

late nineteenth, early twentieth century
76 1/2" x 13 3/4", 194 cm x 35 cm

This is an amazingly interesting--and quite rare-to-find--length of indigo dyed cotton shibori. It is a repurposed from a yukata or a ceremonial kimono and it shows oversized, stitched shibori sea creatures.

Because this length is a random recombination of parts from a whole garment we see only fragments of whole images, each of which is rendered in shibori in such a charmingly spirited way that it is hard not to fall in love with this piece.

On it we see a red snapper or tai at the top, perhaps a mackerel below it, and then at the bottom we see a sliver of an Ise ebi or a large shrimp.

Because this length is repurposed from other pieces and it is old is shows the kind of surface wear and other marring that any cloth of this age would show: there is light fading, snags and other small imperfections.

What is nice to see is that there is evidence of thread from shibori stitching on the eye of the second fish from the top and this is shown in a detail photo here.

Originally the garment this was taken from might have been a yukata (an unlined, casual, summer kimono) or perhaps it was a kind of garment worn at a festival: this is not known.

Still this is a length of cloth to celebrate not only for its fine artistry but also for its unusual images that are dyed in such a surprisingly large scale. Truly wonderful, truly spectacular.

Highly recommended.