A Sparkling Length of Katazome Cotton: Pointillist Effect
late nineteenth, early twentieth century
53" x 13", 134.5 cm x 33 cm
This is a wonderfully faded length of stencil resist or indigo dyed katazome cotton. The length was stencil resisted on both its sides which means that each of its two sides shows a very clear pattern.
The design is very nice as it shows extremely stylized chrysanthemums amid a field of arabesques: the main motifs are enhanced by a background sprayed with a pointillist effect. What adds a great deal of charm to this katazome length is that it is not perfectly resist dyed--look carefully and you will see that in trying to register the resist on front and back there are areas that are misguided, resulting in skidding and blurs to the overall pattern.
Observe, as well, the small highlights of orange color to selected areas of the design. These areas were dyed directly onto the cloth with a iron based pigment dye called bengara in Japan. It is often seen as a complement to indigo color on katazome cloth.
A really pretty pattern with rustic touches.