Tag Archives: tsutsugaki

Crane furoshiki

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This furoshiki or “carrying cloth” dates to the Meiji period and was made from hand spun and hand woven cotton fabric. The crane was expertly dyed using natural indigo. This type of decoration is known as tsutsugaki it was created by a dyer who used a paper cone or “tsutsu”. The tsutsu was used to apply a mixture of ground rice bran, rice flour, salt, and water onto the fabric to create a resist. This resist was washed away after dying to reveal the design. It must have taken several applications of rice paste and many dips in the indigo dye bath to create the colors in this furoshiki. IMG_2350IMG_2349IMG_2353

This furoshiki may have started its life as a futonji or “padded futon cover”. The symbolism of the crane was one often used on items made to be given to a bride and groom as a wedding gift. It has several large repairs that attest its use over the years. The repairs have all been mended using hand spun and hand woven cotton. The large patch in the middle of the furoshiki is made of very thick course homespun. IMG_2354IMG_2351

Tsutsugaki furoshiki

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This furoshiki or “carrying cloth” was made from rustic hand spun cotton. The design of a ginger flower kamon against a deep indigo background was achieved through the process of tsutsugaki. Rice paste was pushed through a small metal tip affixed to a paper bag. After the design had been executed the fabric was dyed and then washed to reveal the outline of the ginger flower kamon. rice paste would have then been applied again to the areas that are now white before drying for a second time.

The deep indigo color of the background could have taken, as many as, 20 dips into the indigo dye vat to achieve, while the light blue of the kamon more than likely only took a few. This attests to the great skill of old Japans rural dyers.

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This furoshiki also has some beautiful repairs. there are several mended holes within the kamon itself, but one of the most beautiful is located at the center bottom of the furoshiki. This indigo patch has been applied with indigo dyed thread. I love the unintended texture of this patch.

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Nothing Wasted

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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.IMG_1763

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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