At first glance these patches seem ordinary. The first is a patch of small sashiko stitches and the second a normal enough blue patch with haphazard stitching holding the two pieces of fabric together. When you turn the piece over it reveals two beautiful patches made from beautiful Edo period katazome.
This patch is decorated with an amazing fern design often seen in late Edo and early Meiji tsutsugaki and katazome fabrics.
The next patch has a beautiful double design of black leaves and branches on an indigo ground, as well as, resist dyed cherry or plum trees with stylized blossoms. I can’t even begin to understand the process of dying something like this.
I think these patches elevate this beautiful Edo period katazome, and I am in complete reverence of the masterful hands that created these fabrics so many years ago.
This small tsunobukuro or “horn bag” has been made from leftover fabrics. The outer over dyed indigo green fabric once displayed a family crest of crossed feathers. It was dyed using a process called tsutsugaki. The green color was achieved by being dyed with indigo first and then being over dyed with a yellow dye to create the beautiful blue green background color. The inner fabric is a beautiful deep indigo kusari or “ikat”. Both fabrics are hand spun and hand woven cotton. The outer fabric was more than likely a furoshiki or banner before it was reworked into this bag.
This bag was more than likely used for caring a lunch box. I love the pattern produced by the reuse of the outer fabric. This bag represents the Japanese value of mottainai or “nothing wasted.” This item can be purchased at: https://www.etsy.com/listing/115393181/antique-japanese-indigogreen-boro-cotton?ref=shop_home_feat
This tsunobukuro or horn bag was used to hold grain. It more than likely comes from Northern Japan and it is made from linden fiber or shina. The bark is removed from the linden tree then it is bound and boiled with wood ash. After boiling the fiber is washed and separated before being spliced together to form thread. The threads are then spun and woven into shinafu. As shinafu ages it darkens in color. This bag is a deep red/brown color and has the feel of very stiff course linen. It is patched with cotton thread, white cotton cloth and several other bast fiber patches.
The bag is resting in the shade of some lemongrass.
I don’t know what this patch states. I can only make out a few of the kanji.