A Rustic Length of Nambu Katazome Hemp Cloth: Sashiko Stitching
ca. late nineteenth, early twentieth century
36" x 11 1/2", 91.5 cm x 31.5 cm
This length of cloth belonged to a jacket and it is rich in material, techniques--and wear.
Its face is faded and worn--and wonderful--and is made from a heavy, rustically woven, resist dyed hemp cloth from Aomori prefecture, one of Honshu Island's most remote areas: this cloth is referred to as Nambu katazome, Nambu being the place of origin.
The length is backed with a resist dyed cotton, a partial family crest called "mesh" or meyui.
The indigo dyed hemp front and the indigo dyed cotton lining are stitched together by neat, even rows of expertly done sashiko stitching which are spaced about 2" or 5 cm apart from each other. It is not surprising that the sashiko stitching is so perfectly done: Aomori prefecture's Tsugaru district produces some of the most intricate and beautiful sashiko stitching in all Japan, a technique referred to as kogin.
A rich and gorgeous piece from one of Japan's most rural and remote regions.