Two Pieces of Itajime Dyed Cotton: Safflower Dyed Fragments

$35.00 USD

early to mid twentieth century
each piece: 24 3/4" x 6 1/2", 63 cm x 16.5 cm

Shown here are two fragments of cotton cloth whose rich and saturated pinkish color was achieved by using a synthetic dye. The piece hand stitched to the bottom of each fragment seems to have been dyed in benibana or safflower, a natural dye.

The pattern dyed onto the pieces is distinctive as it shows a mirror image repeat.

This type of pattern is imprinted onto the cloth using a complicated process using hand carved boards and pressure. The technique is called kyokechi or itajime and this fragment of cloth is a classic representation of this process.

The pattern is that of popular Japanese motifs: cherry blossoms, paulownia flowers and chrysanthemums are seen together as a white-on-pink design spanning the two joined pieces of cloth.

A buoyant and happy design which is made more lighthearted by its playful color these are lovely lengths of itajime cotton in used, good, slightly soiled condition.