A Very Heavily Sashiko Stitched Kotatsu Cover: Layered Cotton
ca. mid twentieth century
54" x 55", 137 cm x 140 cm
This lovely, pieced cotton textile is large, thick with layers and entirely covered in sashiko stitching. It is a really beautiful example of Japanese traditional stitching and the repurposing of existing material.
The large, layered cloth was used as a cover for a kotatsu, a traditional, heated table that would be covered in blankets under which members of a family would gather to share warmth. Electric kotatsugake, or kotatsu covers, are still used to this day in many Japanese homes.
This kotatsugake is pieced from both asagi or pale blue cotton and purple-ish cotton pieces, the random arrangement of which shows a lovely, unintended geometric composition. Note as well the profusion of sashiko stitches, the center of the kotatsugake being the densest with stitches as it is here where all the stitches converge and overlap, forming a neat square of many stitches.
The condition of this kotatsugake is good; it shows wear and some light fading which is not surprising, and it is still very usable as a throw or a bed dressing: it is a really lovely thing.
A beautiful cloth from old Japan: recommended.