A Short Length of Itajime Dyed Cotton: Symmetry
early to mid twentieth century
30 1/2" x 12 1/2", 77.5 cm x 32 cm
This length of cotton cloth shows a pattern that was achieved by placing cotton cloth between two, identically but mirror-image carved boards; pressure was applied to the boards during the dyeing process and wherever the pressure was great enough, dye was resisted, thus creating a symmetrical pattern. This method is called itajime or kyoukechi.
The cloth is of cotton and although its orange color suggests it is benibana or safflower dye, it seems to have been dyed in a synthetic dye. Still, the pattern of chrysanthemums and maple leaves is really delightful to the eye.
Please note some areas of loss to the length as well as two patches, one to the front and one to the back of the length, both near the top of the piece.
Super charming and a lovely length of cloth from old Japan.