A Two Panel Katazome Futonji Fragment: A Patch of Threadbare Cotton
ca. mid to late nineteenth century
76" x 25 1/2", 193 cm x 62 cm
This is a really beautiful, hand spun, hand loomed, faded and worn cotton two panel section from a futon cover that has been stencil resist dyed in the katazome method.
In Japan, when considering old cloth, the quality of the threads is of high importance and this old katazome cotton has beautifully hand spun cotton yarns: the ito aji or thread taste, is pronounced.
The pattern of sparsely arranged chrysanthemums is just beautiful; in most cases, katazome dyed bedding material shows a very crowded pattern of stylized flowers where this pattern has an open feeling. Interestingly, it seems as if the design of the pattern is a nod of the head to Indian export cloth or indo sarasa as this cloth is called in Japan.
The upper, proper left quadrant is quite worn and is threadbare. The rest of the futon cover is also faded and worn and the cloth is just slightly feeble: most of the wear is concentrated in the upper, left area just described.
The reverse of the cloth is mended with 4 patches which can be seen in the accompanying detail photos.
A fabulous looking, large area of old katazome cloth, with an unusual pattern and great threads.