A Tsunobukuro of Fine Hemp or Ramie: Beautiful Color and Texture

$295.00 USD

late nineteenth, early twentieth century
33" x 14", 84 cm x 35.5 cm

This is a tsunobukuro, or horn bag, so called because of its construction: this bag is one length of cloth sewn on the bias, the result being the two "horns" which show at the top of the bag.

The construction of this bag is a lesson in "zero waste," which is probably why it was devised by those who hand stitched these bags in Japan where frugality and the conservation of precious hand made materials was a necessity.

Tsunobukuro were often used for storage of rice, grain and beans, etc., and they were made rough, durable material in order to withstand a lot of wear and hard work.

This particular tsunobukuro is unusual as it is woven from a fairly lightweight, fine grade hemp or ramie: an odd choice of material for this type of bag.

But it is the material that is just so beautiful. The hemp or ramie is a soft, rich green tone or the result of the bag being first dyed in indigo and then over dyed in a yellow dye.

Because the hemp yarns are still a bit rustic you can see by looking at the accompanying detail photos that they drank in the two dyes at slightly different levels in slightly different places. The subtle unevenness of color tone within the cloth is just beautiful.

As well you will see an embroidered kanji, the character for "mountain." This is stitched in cotton thread that is twinned red and white.

For those with an eye for the beauty of materials and a love for subtle, botanical dyes this is for you.


A Tsunobukuro of Fine Hemp or Ramie: Beautiful Color and Texture