A Very Fine Hemp Stitched Cotton Pad: Noragi Reinforcement
ca. late nineteenth, early twentieth century
8 1/2" x 12 3/4", 21.5 cm x 32.5 cm
This very heavily hemp stitched indigo dyed cotton pad is something of a treasure from old Japan.
Most likely intended for use as reinforcement on a work jacket, this off-square is made of about four layers of indigo dyed cotton that has been completely stitched over with hemp thread in a design which is known as yabane or arrow feather, a motif that is often used on supplementary cloth intended to strengthen a work coat.
The play of color of the wheat-toned hemp sashiko stitching against the indigo blue base is just beautiful, as is the feel of this hand crafted accessory when held in the hand. The repeat pattern of yabane is masterfully done.
A marvelous thing, very rich in all the good qualities of Japanese folk textiles.