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A Group of Eight Traditional Zabuton: Three Different Hand Loomed Plaids

Written on August 13, 2013

Zabuton01I love old, Japanese zabuton, or traditional seating cushions, and whenever I am able to find them in Japan (not so easy), I always buy them.  I found this group of eight on my most recent trip to Japan this past spring.

Zabuton01aThese eight pieces show what I like about traditional zabuton: hand loomed, indigo dyed cotton (mainly), hand stitching and soft cotton batting for its fill.  Inserted on the face of these zabuton is a panel of commercially produced cotton, a take on sarasa or Indian trade cloth.  I prefer the proper “back” side of the zabuton where this panel is not evident.  Were I to live with these, I’d turn them face down.

Zabuton02The indigo dyed cotton is hand loomed and was probably made in the early twentieth century or earlier.   The cloth was most likely intended to be used for bedding, and, in fact, it may have been taken from a futon cover and recycled to become zabuton.  I think these zabuton were made sometime in the 1920s or 1930s.

Zabuton02aThe pale green quilting stitches are of hemp; some are broken.

Zabuton03Each cushion measures 22″ x 19″ x 1″ or 56 cm x 48 cm x 2.5 cm.  These zabuton are available for sale, so if you’d like to know more, feel free to email me.





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