A Double-Sided Sashiko Stitched Sitting Mat: Katazome and Indigo Dyed Cottons
early to mid twentieth century
30" x 18 1/4", 76 cm x 46.5 cm
This is a very beautifully laid-out mat, crafted from about three-to-four layers of faded, indigo dyed cottons which have been artfully sashiko stitched together.
The layout of the cloth pieces is geometric on both its sides, with the surface of one side being 2/3 katazome cloth; the other side is less than a quarter katazome cloth. The pattern shown on the cloth is called Genji kuruma which are decorated with a floral pattern and interspersed with paulownia flowers. This motif is a reference to the luxurious court life during the Heian period, the era in which the fictional "Tale of Genji" was set.
Aside from the collage-like feeling of the arrangement of indigo dyed cottons, what is wonderful about this mat is the roughly stitched grid of white thread: note the proper, left-hand bottom of the mat shows a strange "stacking" of intersecting stitched lines, a real treat for the eye.
Some faint stains and composed of faded cottons, this is a beautifully rendered old cloth that expresses very well the unintentional beauty of boro textiles.