A Shibori and Sashiko Stitched Head Covering: Akita
ca. mid twentieth century
62 1/2" x 12 1/4", 158.5 cm x 31 cm
This length of indigo dyed, sashiko stitched cotton is a traditional head covering from Japan's north east or Tohoku region. The head covering is called a zukin or a naga tenugui.
This piece comes from Akita prefecture, and its shibori decoration is very much in the spirit of the spare, dark shibori for which Akita is known. The discreet, small shibori markings are a very nice foil to the white and red hand stitching as well as the strip of kasuri cotton that borders one end of the zukin.
Note, in particular, the expert and fanciful stitching to the one, short end of the head covering, and the intricate stitch work on top of the long, kasuri patch. The simple, linear white cotton stitches are done using a back stitch: the piece is entirely hand stitched.
One of the two short ends of the head covering is unfinished; the reverse is backed with a kind of katazome cotton showing stripes, butterflies and faux shibori.
The condition is worn, there are a few, loose red cotton threads, but it is in fine shape for its age and for its history.
A lovely piece to admire or to use as in home decor.