A Thickly Layered Rustic Boro Mat: Tenugui Pieces
mid twentieth century
26" x 22", 66 cm x 56 cm
This is a scrappy little, many layered cotton boro piece. It seems to be composed of about three layers of cloth which are stitched together in a hodgepodge manner.
The overall coloration of this thick mat of cotton is toned down and darkened due to what appears to be ingrained dirt from wear. Most likely this off-rectangle of heavy boro cotton was used as a zabuton which is a traditional seating cushion. The size of the cloth and its padded nature lead us to assume this.
And there are wonderful and surprising passages of cloth here, most notably the large pieces of an old cotton tenugui, a kind of decorative hand towel, which shows a delightful image of a black-dyed rooster and some pale, surrounding images of leaves and pine cones. More of the same tenugui can be seen on the other side of this boro zabuton.
With evidence of a great deal of wear, this is a tough little cloth with a great deal of soul.