I like this early Meiji katazome for its bold design of chrysanthemum flowers and its beautiful hand spun texture. I also think its really amazing how strong the indigo remains after over 120 years. This design tells a lot about how katazome designs were created. You can clearly see the small connecting lines in the design that were made by small pieces of the original paper stencil. These small connecting lines helped hold the stencil together when an artisan was pushing rice paste through the stencil to deposit the resist. This second photo also shows the spot where the stencil was overlapped to create one continuous design.
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.
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 early Meiji period katazome is made of indigo dyed cotton that has been hand spun and hand woven. The fabric is thick and has been worn soft by years of use. This piece was probably the top of a futonji and has been pieced together from 15 small pieces of the same fabric. It has also been mended with several large patches.
This last photo shows the irregular hand spun threads that produce a fabric with such amazing weight and texture.
These images come from six antique Miao blankets. all of the blankets are cotton and they have all been dyed using indigo. Freehand drawing and stencil methods of resist dying have been employed to create the designs on these blankets. two different weaving patterns have been used to create the cotton base fabrics. The two older blankets are woven with a plain weave and the four remaining have a diamond pattern that is traditional to the Miao of Guizhou provience, China.
This photo comes from a book titled Lost China. The blanket hanging behind the man in the photo is simular in construction, narrow strips of fabric, and in the use of stencil resist designs to the older blankets shown above.
I recently found this late Edo or early Meiji period obi made from hand spun cotton. The obi has been dyed using indigo over dyed with a yellow to create a green color. The pattern was created using a katagami or “stencil” to deposit rice paste onto the fabric before dying. The obi is made from two lengths of fabric sewn together in the middle. I think it was made this way because the person who made it was taking advantage of leftover fabric.
I love this geometric repeat pattern. I think it could really work as a modern textile. I would like to try to reproduce this fabric in the future. The colors that come out in this last photo show off the colors possible when over dying indigo.
This is a completely hand made cotton textile. I think it dates to the late Edo or early Meiji period. The fabric is soft and worn and has probably seen many different uses in its long life. The pattern is odd and I haven’t seen many others like it. I love the way the indigo has worn to produce an almost ikat pattern under the applied katazome decorations.