A Very Faded Resist Dyed Noren Panel: Shop Sign
ca. early to mid twentieth century
58" x 14", 147.5 cm x 35.5 cm
This lovely length of indigo dyed, heavy canvas-like cotton has been very much weathered from exposure to light and the elements, which gives it its rich patina and its faded color.
This is one panel from a resist-dyed noren, a kind of curtain that is hung outside shops and restaurants, announcing the name of the establishment, and, when displayed, announcing that the establishment is open for business.
This one may be woven from commercially produced cotton and by its severe light fading--the original color was a deep, rich indigo--and the soft staining to the resisted hiragana characters, we can see that this old textile has been well-used.
As has been noted above, the original, deep, indigo color has faded
and oxidized to a soft, grey-blue tone. The top of the piece, which
would have been folded and shaded from light exposure, is a darker blue,
closer to the original color. Note about five or so holes of varying sizes, the largest being the size of a small coin.