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A Stack of Asa Cloth

Written on March 12, 2010

I think most people who are enthusiastic about Japanese country textiles have a special place in their heart for the asa or bast fiber cloth of Japan.  Its rich texture and its closeness to nature tap into our primal instincts and connect us to something of the earth.

AsaStack1Here is a neat little stack of some hemp and ramie textiles in my showroom: they are piled atop a small. antique Korean tray table or soban.AsaStack1aUnder the soban is a very heavily stitched, layered and patched cotton kotatsugake which I use as an area rug.AsaStack1bThe pieces on the bottom of the stack are dyed in kaki shibu or green persimmon tannin.  Just above them are undyed pieces; above the natural ones are a few pieces of indigo dyed hemp cloth and just above the indigo dyed pieces are those which are first dyed in indigo and then overdyed in a natural yellow dye, either kihada a kind of philodendron or possibly turmeric.AsaStack1c


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  1. Comment by velma bolyard:

    of course i love these. great colors and texture to swoon over.

    March 12, 2010 @ 8:58 pm

  2. Comment by Rachel Biel:

    Love the texture and gradation of colors!

    March 12, 2010 @ 10:47 pm

  3. Comment by Darlene:

    Beautiful! Thanks for sharing the natural dyes used. These old textiles are just amazing. I’m also glad you mentioned the rug underneath, as that caught my eye right away.

    March 13, 2010 @ 5:57 am

  4. Comment by Lambert:

    Those pictures are a good enough reason for me to visit your showroom when you get back from Japan!

    March 14, 2010 @ 9:45 am