A Very Large and Beautifully Boro Sashiko Furoshiki: Many Patches and Stitches
ca. late nineteenth, early twentieth century
74" x 74", 188 cm x 188 cm
What a gorgeous and large, indigo dyed boro furoshiki. A furoshiki is a traditional Japanese cloth that is used for carrying items and for storing them.
This particular, very used, very repaird one is hand stitched from hand loomed cotton of good age that also seems to be hand spun. The weight of the cotton is nice and heavy, and the cotton was clearly woven in such a way to provide a long work life.
The body of the furoshiki is heavily mended and stitched with blue-on-blue patches. The center is reinforced by a large, diagonally-place white cotton square which is also stitched in a regular grid. As can be seen, there are fairly prominent areas of loss to this old carrying cloth.
The four corners are sashiko stitched in thick, white cotton thread and each corner is tipped with a denser field of sashiko stitching, probably for reinforcement. The fields of sashiko stitching are geometric in design, the upper left and the lower right being the "crossed cords" or tasuki pattern, while the opposing corners are the uroko or "fish scale" pattern.
A big bear of a piece, this is a wonderful, large boro textile from old Japan, and it is one with good age and thread integrity.