A Resist Dyed Horse Trapping: Homespun Cotton
ca. late nineteenth century
104" x 13", 264 cm x 33 cm
This length of hand spun, hand woven, indigo dyed cotton is beautiful for its ito aji or its thread flavor--when in the hand you can really feel the hand spun cotton yarns that were used to weave this length of old cloth.
The indigo dyed cotton (some slight irregularities in the tone of indigo along the length) was a horse trapping or horse covering (called uma gake) a traditional, old cloth that was often tied around the belly of a horse during festival times, to add a festive air. In fact, the resist dyed kanji here read uma or horse.
Because these items were used at festivals, they are often very elaborately decorated using resist dye techniques, either tstutsugaki or katazome. This horse cover, shown here, is decidedly unelaborate and is simply resist dyed. Just lovely.
The cotton is soft, warm and pliable, and the indigo color is rich.
Just lovely, and a nice reminder of old Japan.