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Item Japanese Sarasa Cotton Panel
Age
Late 1880s to Early 1900s
Fabric 100% cotton, medium weight
Madder Color
hand loomed, homespun Panel from futon cover
Size
13 X 35 inches, 34 X 85 cm
Medium Weight
Condition
Very good condition, strong fabric, no holes, no spots
We have washed and ironed this textile, it is ready to use in your project.
Comments Japanese Sarasa has its origins in the 17th century. The word is derived from the Portuguese term for calico. During the Edo Period, Portuguese traders introduced cotton calicos from India into Japan where these beautiful, exotic fabrics quickly became enormously popular among wealthy samurai and merchant classes. These calicos, with vivid colors and striking abstract geometrics, were very distinctive to the Japanese eye when compared with traditionally designed cotton and hemp indigo fabrics. Indian calicos were expensive and small pieces were used to make valuable and colorful items like bags for tea ceremonies, tobacco cases and pouches. The Japanese easily replicated the hitherto expensive Indian calicos into their own style and production techniques. Japanese textile makers applied their indigenous katazome (rice paste resist dyeing and stencils) textile printing skills to making sarasa. Using "akaso" dye (boehmeria tricuspis) resulted imbuing colors of madder reds and browns and indigo along with distinctive floral designs and geometric shapes. As domestic sarasa became widely produced it became a standard for wider use among the Japanese population.


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