A Sashiko Stitched Zokin or Diaper: Asa No Ha
ca. mid twentieth century
23 1/2" x 12 1/2", 59.5 cm x 31.75 cm
This long, sashiko stitched cloth is hand sewn from three layers of plaid cotton: two loops are stitched to one end of the cloth.
The body of the cloth is sashiko stitched in a traditional, Japanese pattern called asa no ha which is stylized hemp leaf design.
When our Japanese sources are queried as to why there are loops on this cloth, some say that this cloth is a diaper, while other say it is a zokin or dust rag. The jury's out on the intended function of this piece, but in either case, the textile is good looking.
The sashiko stitching is sure and symmetrical and the overall appearance of the cloth is good. It is in slightly worn condition with an extremely faint stain to the lower, left hand corner, but nothing that would distract the eye from its inherent folk beauty.
A lovely thing.