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A 19th Century Katazome Sampler: Mihon

Written on September 17, 2011

This length of indigo dyed cotton shows about 12 different 19th century katazome designs: each design as it appears on this cloth is basically the same size as the stencil used in making the repeat pattern.The designs are laid out simply and in a running sequence; there is a sliver of un-stenciled indigo cloth that separates each design.This kind of sampler cloth is called a mihon–many of you, I am sure, are familiar with silk juban that are made of 20th century mihonThis is the same idea: at a katazome dyer’s or textile broker’s shop, samples were shown to prospective customers and a finished textile would be made to their specifications.This piece is interesting: the selvedges show that it was once sewn, so I am imaging that this, along with others like it, were stitched together to form a futon cover.  Imagine how beautiful it would have been to see a futon cover which was a field of sample motifs.

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  1. Comment by Mandi:

    Is this part of your private collection, or will you be listing it in your store? It’s really gorgeous!

    September 19, 2011 @ 4:49 pm

  2. Comment by Heather:

    Is it possible to fall in love with a textile? My heart is just going pit-a-pat!

    September 22, 2011 @ 9:03 pm