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A Six Panel Itajime Shibori Futonji: Sekka and Kikko

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.

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A Vignette from Sri Showroom: Itajime Silk Fragment and Indian Copper Yoni

May 18, 2012

I like this little set-up in a corner of my showroom and I thought I’d share it with you today.   Sitting on a small, Korean soban or dining tray is a copper Hindu yoni–a ritual vessel–and a fragment of chirimen (crepe) silk that is dyed in the itajime or kyoukechi method.The benibana or safflower dyed chirimen fragment sits in an old Korean wooden grain scoop–and for more on itajime dyeing, have a look at this blogpost which shows the type of carved boards which were used to imprint a design onto this silk cloth.

As this little vignette always catches my eye when I walk by it, I thought you may enjoy having a look, too.

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