August 31, 2010
What fun. This wonderful textile is a mid 19th century tenugui, a kind of all-purpose hand towel that has many everyday uses and is still very much part of Japanese life.
Tenugui are known for their fanciful designs, but this one, with is stencil resist design of insects, snails and frogs is remarkable.The cotton of this tenugui is hand loomed; the pale blue color–dyed from botanical indigo–is called asagi.In Japan, the insects depicted on this hand towel are very much associated with late summer. Similarly, around the world, butterflies and dragonflies appear at summer’s end.I love the delicacy of the depiction of these insects……and the frog and slug.
This tenugui measures 12 3/4″ x 37″ or 32.5 cm x 94 cm.