Thursday, January 6, 2011
Shimacho - sample books.
Today's post looks at one of the earliest and one of the most recent additions to my collection. Shimacho 縞帖 literally 'stripe book' refers to various kinds of fabric sample books. (Japanese readers might note that there have been variations in the kanji used for both 'shima' and 'cho' over time). These books were put together for a variety of purposes, some are commercial samplers and some were created by weavers as a record of the different designs they'd created. The first photos are from a set of three shimacho which were very early additions to my collection. These probably date from around the middle of the 19th century. There's no text that is still legible and it is difficult to know exactly what their purpose was, but it appears to be someone's personal collection. All the fabrics are cotton with a range of dyeing and weaving techniques.