October 27, 2012
Many of you are familiar with sekka itajime shibori, or clamp resist dyed shibori which ends up looking something like a flower, in this case, sekka or a snowflower. And as this shibori technique was commonly used for diapers, many of you are used to seeing this type of shibori done small, like this.As sekka shibori is a fairly straightforward and relatively easy-to-do shibori technique, it was used a great deal in old Japan, especially in the 20th century. Here we see it covering a marvelously large area as 6 standard-sized loom widths are machine stitched together to create a futon cover (which is now opened, as shown here). But sekka shibori was also used for undergarments and yukata.In addition to the snowflower motif, you’ll also see an all-over configuration of hexagons. This could be read as kikko or tortoiseshell, and, as you can imagine, it is a traditional motif that conveys wishes for a long life.This is a huge piece. It measures 89″ x 72″ or 226 cm x 183 cm and it’s in quite good condition. Every so often there’s a match head-sized hole, but the cotton is bright white and the indigo is a rich sapphire blue. It was probably made in the 1950s or 60s.