A Shinafu Fragment: Linden Fiber with Stitching
early twentieth century
18 1/2" x 12", 47 cm x 30 cm
For those interested in indigenous Japanese bast or asa fibers, this fragment of shinafu or cloth woven from the inner bark of the linden tree is a wonderful study piece.
Shinafu is almost always very scratchy due to its tough, wiry fibers, and as such, it was mainly used for household textiles such as bags, wrapping cloths or noren, a traditional kind of curtain or room divider. Shinafu is too abrasive to be used as clothing and as the yarns retain their bark-like quality, the cloth produced by weaving them is very durable.
This fragment shows some white colored warp yarns--either cotton or another type of bast--as well as a sashiko stitched design, rendered in white thread. It is unclear what type of cloth this fragment was taken from, although as can be seen on the detail photographs attached, the top edge is hemmed by hand.
A perfect little piece of shinafu to add to your collection of Japanese indigenous woven fiber.