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Two Faced: Twice-Dyed Cloth

Written on June 14, 2010

Today I am showing two different textiles, each of which is dyed on both sides.

On the left is a bolt of Edo komon cotton: Edo komon is a stencil-dyed small-figured cloth that was popular in the early to mid 19th century.  The bolt is constructed from a kimono that has been taken apart and then put back together as a full bolt, probably for the ease of dyeing the other side and for future use.    What I mean by “dyeing the other side” is that this reconstructed bolt of Edo komon cotton was then stencil dyed on its reverse side at a more recent date than the original.

Shown above and in detail shots below, is a something very interesting: it is a panel of arashi shibori cotton that has been taken from a yukata which is an unlined, casual kimono.  On the reverse side of this arashi shibori, a stencil dyed pattern showing cranes and chrysanthemums was applied using the surikomi method, where color is forced through stencils directly onto cloth.  After the surikomi was applied, this cloth then was used to cover a futon.

Note the small figured Edo komon pattern in the cloth above, and below: in this case, the pattern is the all-over Genji-ko which has to do with an incense naming and memory exercise for refined aficionados of incense and aroma.You’ll notice that on the reverse side of the Edo komon cloth, seen clearly below, the pattern that has been applied is a simple one, a kind of  “faux” kasuri, and applied using  the surikomi method.

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  1. Comment by Lis Harwood:

    Interesting fabric, love to see the cranes after my blogpost yesterday.

    June 15, 2010 @ 2:38 am