An Indigo Dyed Cotton Katazome Length: Unusual and Rare Image
late nineteenth, early twentieth century
35" x 13", 89 cm x 33 cm
This is a very beautiful length of indigo dyed katazome cotton which shows an intriguing and rare pattern of what appear to be light boxes set against a stippled, dark ground. The term light boxes is mentioned because the undyed areas of the design seem to give off light within the context of their being embedded in the dark ground.
This is a very unusual pattern and one to be noted. In fact, it could be, and probably is, a variant on the hexagonally-designed tortoise shell pattern or kikko, in this case it would be constructed of three diamonds (mitsubishi) which are segmented into four zones.
In any case, for those who collect katazome, this pattern is one to be added to your collection; for those intrigued by Japanese textile design, this may be considered something of an anomaly as it is such an unusual pattern.