A Resist Dyed Noren: Lightweight Cotton and Complex Design

$185.00 USD

mid twentieth century
57 1/2" x 49 1/4", 146 cm x 125 cm

This is a noren which is a traditional Japanese curtain of sorts, one that was used either in doorways in lieu of a door or often hung in front of shops, functioning as a shop sign, as a signal the business was open, and to mark a transition from the outside world to an interior space.

This one is hand stitched from commercially milled, lightweight cotton which has been resist dyed using a synthetic dye.

Looking at the photos you can see there is ingrained dirt from what must have been a good deal of wear: the undyed areas have gone a bit tea-colored from age and from use. The top area is also faded; the color of the entire noren has softened from the passage of time.

The design is delightful. Notice how the four panels face each other in mirror images, quite a nice touch. The panels show a zigzag lozenge pattern which is known as matsukawabishi or a pine bark motif. Inside we see stylized images of clove, coral, a straw rain cape, a fragment of an interlocking circle, a counterweight, a drum and a hat.

Please refer to the detail photo that indicates some stark, dark staining to the far right panel.

The photograph here shows how the lightweight cotton panels naturally fall and curl in on themselves a bit. The cotton is still sturdy and this lovely noren can easily be put to use or admired.

Just lovely.