A Sakiori Kotatsugake: Rag Woven Hearth Cover

$435.00 USD
mid twentieth century
55" x 54 1/2",  139.5 cm x 138.4 cm

This good-looking, well-worn, hand woven, blanket-weight textile is woven from cotton yarns torn into narrow strips from rags. In Japan rag weaving is referred to as sakiori. 

This is a kotatsugake which is a cloth to be draped over a heated table or kotatsu. A draped, heavy cloth such as this traps the heat so a family who gathers near the hearth and places their legs under the cloth stays warm. 

This was undoubtedly was woven by a member of the family who used it as home weaving was a regular feature of most Japanese households.

As can easily be seen the color and pattern is simple and attractive. The dyed cotton warp alternates in columns of orange and blue and the rag weft alternates dark and light.

The edges of the kotatsugake are unfinished and a bit ragged which indicates that it was once backed and the backing has been removed. As well, there are ample detail photos here of the surface of the kotatsugake which show the type of wear and the type of small areas of surface loss to be seen on this piece.

This is a really handsome sakiori kotatsugake whose beauty is enhanced by its wear, evidence of the human interaction which enriches its history.