A Traditional Katazome Zabuton: Cotton Wadding
ca. early twentieth century
18" x 17" x 2 1/2", 46 cm x 43 cm x 6.5 cm
This is a traditional zabuton, or seating cushion, that is made from a katazome dyed cotton exterior and a cotton wadding stuffing. Indigo dyed cotton threads are attached to three of the four corners and to the center of the pillow.
The katazome dyed cloth is an overall medium-grey tone: this is probably indigo that has oxidized over time and has turned a greyish color: this sometimes happens. The image is that of cherry blossoms among a field of arabesques, the cherry blossoms tipped in a orange tone which is hand applied iron oxide dye stuff which the Japanese call bengara. The katazome cotton used to make this zabuton is probably recycled from a futon cover.
On each of the two sides of this zabuton there is an extremely faint line of staining: it is so faint we have to strain to see it, and in certain lights it is not discernible.
A really lovely old katazome dyed zabuton. These kinds of objects from old Japan are getting more and more difficult to find.