A Sashiko Stitched Kotatsugake: Beautiful Arrangement of Cloth Pieces

$425.00 USD

early to mid twentieth century
57 1/2" x 49 3/4", 146 cm x 126.5 cm

In old Japan, a square-shaped table heated by a brazier underneath it (a kotatsu), was used to warm interior spaces.

Heavy cloth was piled on the table top of the kotatsu to trap heat, and family members would sit around the table, their legs tucked under the cloth which was draped over the kotatsu.  

These heat-catching cloths are called kotatsugake.

This is a kotatsugake--and as can be easily observed it is a heavily sashiko stitched one: tight rows of horizontally directional white sashiko stitching cover the entire piece, with the rows of sashiko stitching becoming compressed toward the top and bottom edges of this layered cloth.

The kotatsugake has been made from recycled cotton kimono clolth. As such, when you look carefully, you will see areas of mending and patching that have been applied in order to stabilize the flat pieces of ex-kimono cotton as it is configured into this off-square, four-layered large cloth.

The proper front shows a base of striped cotton onto which is stitched an indigo dyed kasuri area. Next to this is a striped patch, different in design and color from the base.

The reverse is entirely of indigo dyed kasuri and two different types are used.

The kotatsugake shows wear from age and use but it is in good, very usable condition and it is still quite durable.

Its character and visual appeal does not need any explanation nor does the charm and allure of so much very nice sashiko stitching.