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A Three Panel Kumanozome Futonji: Meiji Era Stencil Dyed Moire Cotton

Written on October 10, 2010

It’s hard to believe that this wildly patterned and dazzling cloth was made 100 years ago, during the Meiji Era (1868-1912).

Kumanozome is extremely distinctive–in fact it’s impossible to mistake–in its almost vertigo-inducing eye trickery.  Stencils cut into striped patterns would be laid onto cloth.  They were layered and set slightly askew from one another, and the result is this almost 3-D “energy field” of pulsating, contrasting blues and white.Kumanozome was produce using a blue palette, as shown here, but other color combinations were also dyed: red and blue, mustard and brown, red and brown.  I like the blue variant for its vibrance.Fantastic, isn’t it?  Garments were also made using this same moire pattern, however from what I’ve seen, the scale of the stripes on garments is much smaller, so as to create a more delicate effect than the almost motion-sickness vitality of this large-scale pattern.

This futon cover measures 72″ x 38″ or 183  cm x 96.5 cm.

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  1. Comment by pam:

    Must have induced some really wild dreams!

    October 10, 2010 @ 11:14 am

  2. Comment by Eva:

    I was convinced at first sight that this was a 3D-texture — so dazzling. Adorable craftmanship.

    October 10, 2010 @ 2:50 pm

  3. Comment by Lis:

    Amazing stuff, I wonder if it induced migraines! So clever.

    October 11, 2010 @ 2:02 pm

  4. Comment by AB:

    yowza! will this one end up in the shop?

    October 12, 2010 @ 1:16 pm

  5. Comment by Jan:

    Very interesting post. I have some faded fragments of this kind of stripe and didn’t know what they were called.

    October 14, 2010 @ 5:02 pm