An Asagi or Pale Blue Katazome Boro Cloth: Beautiful Patterns
late nineteenth, early twentieth century
49" x 35", 124.5 cm x 89 cm
This is a beautiful boro textile--it is composed of five pieces of cloth in three different katazome patterns. Each of the pieces which comprise the base cloth is hand stitched together.
The color of this boro cloth is wonderful. It is called asagi iro in Japan, a name for this pale blue. The fifteen or so patches which are attached to the surface of the cloth are hand stitched to the surface.
The katazome patterns are beautiful. One is based on a version of tatewaku or rising steam which is mixed sayagata which shows a swastika. Another shows a base of kikko or tortoise shell with a clever overlay of shochikubai, the famous, auspicious design triad of plum, pine and bamboo. The third katazome pattern is an ingenious mix of kikko tsunagi or interlocking tortoise shell patterns with shippo tsunagi, a traditional interlocking circle pattern.
Please note there are small, threadbare holes on the surface of the cloth, each hard to see, and the surface of the indigo is gently mottled overall in large swaths, also difficult to discern.
Still, the overall effect is that of a sparkling and bright blue and white boro cloth with a great deal of delicacy of design and pattern.