A Finely Sashiko Stitched Furoshiki: Kasuri Cotton and Beautifully Stitched Trim
early to mid twentieth century
42" x 40", 106.5 cm x 101.5
This is an exceptionally handsome, sashiko stitched cotton furoshiki. A furoshiki is a traditional wrapping cloth used in old Japan to carry items and for storing them.
This furoshiki is hand stitched from three panels of beautifully graphic, kasuri dyed cotton that is comprised of tones of inky blue-black, a soft grey-blue and muted ochre stripes. The regular, diagonal placement of the resisted areas of the kasuri cloth is just beautiful and conjures a strong visual presence.
Overlaid onto this boldly geometric base cloth are four corners of very delicately stitched white sashiko, the stitches being tiny and perfectly spaced. The contrast of this filigree look and the kasuri base cloth is striking.
Two opposing corners are stitched in a fancy chrysanthemum design while the top, left corner is stitched in a fascinating way: at once the design appears to be the classic tic tac toe-style well cover pattern, but if you look again, you may see a repeat pattern of the Buddhist swastika. The encircled flower motif on the lower, right hand corner is a family crest or mon.
On the attendant detail photographs you will see that this furoshiki is mended with patches, however they appear on the back of this piece and the stitching to the face is subtle.
Pay special attention to the unusual and wonderfully executed edging which is shown in a separate detail photograph here. Really remarkable.
A stunning old textile from Japan.