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Tsutsugaki Furoshiki With Three Friends of Winter Motif


This is an antique furoshiki, or traditional wrapping cloth decorated using a tsutsugaki technique. 

A centrally positioned crest of ivy and karabana flowers is surrounded on all sides with pine, plum, and bamboo—an auspicious motif known as sho chiku bai, or “three friends of winter" often used to symbolize strength, perseverance, and hope.

Tsutsugaki is a hand drawn resist dyeing method where a rice paste mixture is applied to the cloths surface using a cone shaped tube before vat dyeing the textile in botanical indigo. In this case, more details were added to the image with a second session of tsutsugaki and further dyeing to achieve the two shades of deep indigo blue seen here—a medium dark indigo blue within the ivy and karabana crest, and a deeper indigo elsewhere.

Hand stitching is used throughout to join fabric panels and finish raw edges. Each corner has been further reinforced with radiating sashiko stitches. Kanji is hand stitched in one corner, presumably that of the owners name.

Dimensions: 52.5 x 56in; 133 x 142cm
Early 1900s


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