May 16, 2014
This eccentric beauty is a recent acquisition from my recent buying trip to Japan. I couldn’t resist it, and you probably can see why, even with a quick glance.
It is a sashiko stitched furoshiki which is mended in a marvelously complex way, and it is also “over stitched” in a similarly marvelous way.
By “over stitched” I mean that it appears that in its original form, the furoshiki may have just been stitched with corner reinforcements and kanji, or Chinese characters. Then, it seems, irregularly stacked columns of sashiko stitching were added on top of the original stitching, presumably for reinforcement. By looking at the last picture on this posting, below, you may see what I mean by this description.
It is also curious to consider the patches on the back of this furoshiki, shown above and below. Note that some of them have been sashiko stitched, maybe taken from another stitched textile–or maybe not. In any case, this multi-directional, randomly placed stitching over stitching lends a beautifully complex effect to the overall piece.
Notice the stitching patterns on the front of the furoshiki, shown in the photo above: quite unusual, aren’t they? This piece measures 38″ x 36″ or 96.5 cm x 91.5 cm and it probably dates to the early 20th century.
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May 2, 2014
I’ve recently returned from a buying trip to Japan and have been overwhelmed with inventorying the beautiful things I purchased there, so blog entries needed to take a back seat to logging in new textiles. But I had to bring this one forward for you to see. It’s an unusual and very beautiful pieced cotton furoshiki with marvelously sashiko stitched corners. And it’s seemingly unused.
The piecing of the old striped and checked cottons is exact and the distribution of color and pattern is intuitively perfect. The sashiko stitching is also expertly done.
The sashiko stitched motif, above, is an odd one. It could be a stylized folding fan, or, on the other hand, it could be an iteration of a cherry blossom whose petals are notched.
The sashiko stitched motif shown above is, of course, chrysanthemum, a standard motif used on these utilitarian furoshiki.
This beauty probably dates to the 1930s or so and it measures 49″ x 44″ or 124.5 cm x 111.75 cm.
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