A Superb Boro Shibori Mat: Narumi Kongata Patch
ca. late nineteenth, early twentieth century
38" x 24", 96.5 cm x 61 cm
This mat of indigo dyed shibori and katazome cottons is something of a masterwork of random, haphazard and, perhaps unintentional, beauty.
The base cloth of hand spun, hand woven shibori dyed cotton is just stunning: it is a complex pattern of nui or stitched shibori based on the fundo tsunagi or a stylized repeat of a counterweight design. The way the shibori is dyed--mottled, contrasting--makes the surface of the cotton shimmer with light and vitality.
This marvelous, old shibori is patched on the opposite side with beautiful and contrasting cotton cloth. First, there is a good-sized swatch of Narumi kongata, a very clever type of complex resist dyed stenciled cloth whose patterns are meant to mimic that of shibori; this faux shibori effect is the result of many layers of stenciling which require a high level of artisanry. Narumi kongata is a very valuable cloth, and one that is often pricier than less complex types of stencil resist dying, sometime prohibitively so.
The center patch is katazome dyed and is something of a paving stone pattern while to its right is a lovely patch of miura shibori, a pattern of watery-looking puckers.
This is an exceptionally good piece of old shibori, with marvelous hand loomed cottons, fantastic, old hand spun yarns, and a compositon based on very good examples of shibori and katazome, in very good, bright condition.