An Intricate Length of Resist Dyed Cotton: Faded Blue, Orange and Yellow
ca. late nineteenth century
63" x 13", 160 cm x 33 cm
This is a beautiful length of katazome cloth and one which shows wonderful, subtle colors. The base is a faded yellow; the pattern is indigo dyed and details are filled in in an orange pigment, also faded.
The pattern on this cloth is unusual in that it does not seem traditionally Japanese. For example: the treatment of the karakusa or arabesque is pictorial in that the curving forms are feathery or botanical, and rendered in a European manner.
It seems that the inspiration for this type of pattern may be from printed French cloth which itself is a kind of "copy" of Indian wood block printed cottons, which the Japanese absolutely love and which they call sarasa.
The pale colors of the cloth are beautiful, as is the Indian/European/chintz-inspired motif. Look carefully at the top of the cloth to see some mending that has been done.
A really lovely length of Japanese cotton.