A Very Large Sashiko Stitched Furoshiki: Stunningly Graphic
early twentieth century
70" x 68", 178 cm x 173 cm
What an impressive old--and very large--hand stitched folk textile.
This over sized, indigo dyed cotton square cloth is a furoshiki which is a traditional wrapping/ carrying cloth; this one is tightly hand woven from what appear to hand spun cotton yarns. The indigo dye is deep and rich.
What is so striking about it is the very bold "X" pattern that marks the center of the cloth and travels in strong diagonals to all four corners of the furoshiki. This X is completely hand stitched in white thread in wide, broken lines. This graphic feature of the furoshiki may have been added some time after its making in order to strengthen cloth: if you look at the furoshiki you will see that this large X is superimposed over the corner stitching, which seem to have been the original design elements of this carrying cloth.
This furoshiki has clearly been used hard and well over time as its surface is slightly abraded and contains some holes, most of which are illustrated on the accompanying detail photographs. Still, the cotton is in good condition and the indigo dye is still very deep and vibrant. Its two sides are finished in sashiko stitching.
A truly beautiful textile from old Japan and one with a distinctive and memorable design--and wonderful hand work.