A Richly Patterned Length of Katazome Cotton: Hand Spun Yarns
late nineteenth century
35" x 13 1/2", 89 cm x 34 cm
This joyously decorated length of indigo dyed cotton shows katazome dyeing done in a rustic way.
By looking at the attached detail photos you will notice that you can see very clearly where the pattern repeats: this is the rustic detail just mentioned; usually in katazome dyeing, there is no evidence of the size or limits of the stencil and you see a seamless, repeat pattern which decorates the entirety of the cloth.
This one is particularly good because its cotton yarns are hand spun, a real gift for those who are interested in old, Japanese cotton folk textiles.
The pattern here is still quite vivid as the cloth seems to have been barely used: we see a repeat pattern of flowers against a ground of karakusa or arabesque, the background showing widely spaced white stippling. The red and grey details are stenciled directly onto the cloth after it is resist dyed: the red pigment is based in iron oxide and is called bengara in Japan.
A really lovely length of old katazome dyed cotton. A very faint stain shown in the accompanying detail photo.