A Three Panel Pieced Shikimono: Recycled Cotton Kimono
ca. early to mid twentieth century
72" x 38", 183 cm x 96.5 cm
This lovely, piece constructed cotton cloth is fashioned from repurposed cotton kimono and is referred to as a shikimono. The proportions of the cloth related to the human body--with good reason. This kind of cloth would be placed under a futon for sleep, or, perhaps, in the summer it would be a sleeping mat and would be used directly.
Dark kimono cottons in subtle variety are arranged to create the area needed for this shikimono: the proper front of the cloth shows 14 separate pieces of cloth that are hand stitched together to create this sleeping mat; the reverse is composed of 5 separate pieces, also dark in color.
The dark color of this shikimono relates to the constraints of daily life in old Japan: until the end of the 19th century, in Japan, laws were enforced which said that most of the population had to dress in clothing of hemp or cotton which was dark in color and did not have large, contrasting designs. The cloth which comprises this shikimono is reflective of the strictures placed on the population of old Japan.
Beautifully designed and executed, this cloth is lovely, and can be acquired just to be looked at and admired, or, as the cotton and stitching are still very strong, it can be put to use in the home in a variety of ways, from an area rug to a dressing for the bed, and more.