A Stenciled Pigment Dyed Futon Cover: Hemp and Cotton
early twentieth century
62" x 37 1/2", 157.5 cm x 90.5 cm
This wonderfully designed and beautifully colored three panel textile has been stenciled with pigment dyes; the color has been applied directly to the cloth through large, hand cut stencils.
Because the color is pigment-based and has been "painted" on the cloth, the colors sit on the surface and do not penetrate the fibers of the woven cloth. The base onto which the colors have been applied is a mixture of hemp and cotton.
The design is bright and graphic. The central, star-shaped image, which is undyed, is a complex one. It is a family crest which is made up of five, diamond-shaped images, each one called matsukawa bishi, which is stylized pine bark. Surrounding this pine bark star are rangy, curlicues of black-colored trailing vines or karakusa, a traditional motif often seen on futon covers, which this is, or on furoshiki, traditional wrapping cloths.
This piece is in good condition save for a few small tears to the surface shown on the accompanying detail photographs.
A beautifully unusual piece with a great deal of color and design vitality.