Thursday, April 9, 2015

potd - Tsutsugaki Futonji

I try and post a photo of the day here and on facebook every day that the shop's open but sometimes I just don't have time and sometimes the commentary is rather brief.  The brevity  of yesterday's post amused some of my  facebook 'friends' so today I'm trying to be more informative...

This is a  wonderful   tsutsugaki dyed futon cover panel with a dynamic peony and karagusa ('chinese grass') design. It has been taken from the kake-buton top part of the futon (the equivalent of a doona).

In tsutsugaki the design is drawn on the fabric with a rice paste resist using a cone-shaped 'tsutsu' that is a little like an icing piping bag. When the fabric is dyed in indigo the resisted areas remain white. The fabric will be dried and re-dyed a number of times. During this process the areas to remain light indigo will be covered with more resist before re-dying to achieve the dark indigo on the rest of the piece.  Then the resist will be washed out. This will have been professionally dyed at a local dye shop (traditionally a male job) for a relatively well-off  family in the late 19th - early 20th century. It's still in perfect condition. It's obviously been treasured over the years and probably only used for guests.  It's available in the shop or online.

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