November 8, 2013
Shifu is a kind of Japanese cloth which is woven from paper yarn. Usually the weft yarn is hand twisted from washi or paper and the warp yarns are of another material, in this case it’s indigo dyed cotton.
This length is wonderful for its details. As you can see, running from left to right on this length are dark colored blips. These dark blips are remnants of the ink which stained the paper which was shredded into narrow lengths and twisted into warp yarns.
The kind of paper that was often used for shifu weaving was taken from books, sometime accounting books such as this type were utilized.
What I can’t convey in this blog posting is the light weight of this piece of shifu: paper is less dense than, say, cotton, so a woven length of shifu is quite a bit lighter than cotton or hemp cloth.
On the photos above and below you can easily see the indigo dyed cotton warp yarns and some of the loose paper yarns. This length probably dates to the late nineteenth or early twentieth century. Most probably this piece was taken from a shifu kimono.
In: Tags: shifu
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October 26, 2013
I just returned from a buying trip to Japan, and when I’m there I never know what I’ll find–and what I won’t find. Luckily, this past time I happened upon things I rarely see, sashiko stitched hand guards. And I didn’t find just one pair–I found three.
The pair shown above is my favorite for its age, its good stitching and its wear. But I’m thrilled to own all three of them. They probably date to the early to mid twentieth century.
Although I can’t be sure, I have a hunch, based on the situation where I acquired these, that the two pairs shown above are from Japan’s northern or eastern area.
The pair shown above is wonderful for its base cloth of kasuri or ikat woven cotton. The white dots, which are the result of all-over sashiko stitching, are a wonderful design foil to the kasuri cloth which composes most of each of the gloves.
As I’m so enamored of these pairs of mittens I am in no rush to sell them. But do have a look at my webshop from time to time to see if I’ve decided to list a pair for sale.
In: Tags: boro, sashiko
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