A Sashiko Stitched Cotton Kotatsugake: Layered, Pieced Cotton
mid twentieth century
54" x 50", 137 cm x 127 cm
This large square of piece-constructed cotton has been very evenly sashiko stitched all over in a pattern of vertical lines, the lines of sashiko stitching are spaced about 1 1/2" or 4 cm apart from one another.
The cloth is made of two layers of pieced cottons and it is a kotatsu accessory--the kotatsu being a heated table that would be draped with heavy, large squares of cloth which would help retain and confine heat. You sit around the table and put your legs under the draped cloth in order to stay warm.
The face of this cloth is constructed from commercially produced red-colored plaid cotton, indigo dyed kasuri cotton and a few other pieces of left over cotton, one being a bold stripe.
The proper reverse of this cloth is comprised entirely of pieces of commercially produced, plaid cottons in red, orange, yellow and white colors which are arranged haphazardly, the visual result being wonderfully irregular.
In good condition for a utilitarian cloth that is about 50 years old, there are some broken sashiko stitches, but overall this is a cloth which is in good shape.