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A Gorgeous and Intricately Sashiko Stitched Kotatsugake

Written on August 18, 2010

Every time I look at this wonderfully sashiko stitched, cotton kotatsugake, I am amazed by its complex beauty.  This fantastic, layered cotton square was presumably used to cover the kotatsu, a kind of brazier-heated table that was ubiquitous in old Japan–and which is still used now, however the heating element is electric. Notice that the stitched design is based on alternating blocks of  sashiko patterns: small cross-stitches and a stylized persimmon flower design, both which are commonly used sashiko designs.  The effect is subtle.

Aside from the wonderful idea of separating two designs and depicting each in staggered blocks, seeing these designs overlayed on the base cloth of hand woven, wide-striped, indigo dyed cotton is fantastic.  This layered effect adds to the overall design complexity, as well as to our visual enjoyment.I’d say this sashiko stitched textile dates to the second quarter of the 20th century or so.It measures 52″ x 48″ or 132 cm x 122 cm.

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  1. Comment by paula:

    ahhh, stylized persimmons! so that’s what they are. love that pattern in sashiko. complex beauty indeed. ^^

    August 18, 2010 @ 4:42 pm

  2. Pingback from Le grand bleu (#1) « ickemixe.:

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    August 20, 2010 @ 9:02 pm