A Richly Designed Katazome Length: Double-Sided Phoenixes and Arabesques
late nineteenth, early twentieth century
34" x 14", 86.5 cm x 35.5 cm
This densely patterned, richly designed length of indigo dyed katazome cotton shows vivid color and contrast because it has been resisted and dyed on both of its two sides, resulting in a "reversible" type of cloth.
The design is a repeat of phoenixes which are shown against a backdrop of bengara-tinted arabesque: bengara is an iron oxide-derived pigment which is often used to add an orange color to katazome dyed cloth.
This fragment is taken from a futon cover and although used, its indigo and bengara are both very deeply toned and still quite beautiful.