A Sakiori Sodenashi: Stitched Details
mid twentieth century
29 3/4" x 16", 75.5 cm x 40.5 cm
This is a very handsome, beautifully designed and detailed sakiori sodenashi, which is a rag woven, sleeveless garment.
By looking carefully at the detail photos shown here it is clear that the rag weft yarns are staggered in color: a repeat of white, pale blue and darker blue are set against a natural color cotton warp to create this "neutral" toned garment. Very dark indigo dyed cotton finishes the edges and is used for fashioning the collar.
And have a good look at the collar. What you will see is some very interesting white stitches which are set off by the dark background.
It seems that these complex formations of stitches are semamori or "magical" stitches that are sewn onto garments to provide protection to the wearer. Note the elaborate, mountain-like semamori stitched on the back of the collar. The additions of these details make this an unusual sodenashi, to be sure.
This garment has been worn as can be seen by the slight discoloration to the front of the piece as well as by the small flecks of staining which can be seen in the accompanying photographs.
Still, this old sodenashi still has a fresh appeal and conveys the subtle beauty which defines Japanese folk textiles.
A wonderful, beautiful thing.