Red Stenciled Indigo Dyed Cotton Length: Bengara or Iron Oxide Pigment
late nineteenth century
33" x 12 1/2", 84 cm x 31.75 cm
This absolutely beautiful length of indigo dyed cotton shows a ground of rich indigo dye over which is stenciled a pattern of mokko--a traditional abstracted design--and karakusa or arabesque.
The stenciled pattern is applied directly to the cloth using an iron-oxide pigment dye which in Japan is called bengara. When applied over the blue dyed cotton, the bengara pigment creates a wonderful, contrasting cool-warm tonal effect. There is some fading or wear to the proper right side of this cloth, as can be seen in accompanying photographs.
The cotton is of high quality as it appears to be hand spun, lending a genuinely old characteristic to this lovely length of old cloth.
Recommended for its relative rarity: bengara stenciled cloth is not common.