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A Pieced Mid Century Cotton Kotatsu Cover

Written on August 17, 2011

In Japan a kotatsu is a traditional form of heating one’s home.  Imagine a small brazier over which a table is placed.  Layers of square cloth are placed on the table to keep in heat, and the family would sit around the table with their legs under the covers to soak up the warmth generated from the brazier.
This mid century cotton textile is one of the layers of cloth that would have been draped over the kotatsu.  It is hand stitched from a variety of hand loomed and commercially produced cottons which have clearly been recycled.The kotatsu cover is essentially made of two layers: the backing is of an olive green power loomed cotton.  On top of this, puzzle pieces of cotton cloth were arranged with some slight overlapping.Where the irregularly shaped pieces on the top layer of the cloth did not meet or overlap the green cotton backing is exposed–and the random, triangular areas of green cloth enhance the visual interest of this kotatsu cover.The kotatsu cover measures 60″ x 58″ or 152.5 cm x 147 cm, which is the standard size for this kind of utilitarian cloth.

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  1. Comment by paula:

    Wonderful! I recommend this mystery novel in which a kotatsugake plays a … role: The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino. A beautiful told story of everyday life in Japan, and oh yeah, somebody is killed.

    August 21, 2011 @ 11:58 pm