An Elaborately Figured Katazome Length: Equally Vivid on Both Sides
late nineteenth century
64" x 13 3/4", 162.5 cm x 35 cm
The reason this beautiful length of indigo dyed cotton is photographed folded as it is here is to be able to show views onto both its sides: as you can see, one side is as clearly defined as the other, which is not always the case with katazome cottons--and it is a detail to note strongly.
This means that each side of the cloth was stencil resist dyed, quite a mind boggling thought if you consider that the dyer needed to register the stencils with extreme accuracy on both sides of the cloth in order to get this level of clarity on either side.
The pattern is beautiful.
It is a repeat design of two types of stylized chrysanthemums amid a field of karakusa or arabesque. There are black dyed details also on the cloth, hand applied using stencils.
The proper "front" side of this shows a bit of fading and wear in areas, but overall this length of cloth is in good condition for its age, which is about 100 years.