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Item Length Of Japanese Cotton Sarasa
Part of former futon cover

Scarce Collector Piece!
Abstract Pattern.
Late 1800s to Early 1900s
Fabric 100% Cotton Homespun, Hand woven Vegetable Dyes
14 inches X 2.5 feet
35 X 75 cm
Thick-Medium fabric
Very Good Condition, no holes, no spots.

We ironed this textile and it is ready to use in your project or to hang as wall art.

We don't recommend washing this textile because of the somewhat delicate vegetible dyes and age.
Comment Japanese Sarasa has its origins from the early Edo Period (1603 to 1868) when Portuguese seafaring traders introduced cotton calicos/chintz into Japan that they acquired from Indian textile manufacturers. The term "Sarasa" is derived from the Portuguese word for calico or unglazed chintz.

These unconventional cotton calicos, with vivid colors and striking abstract geometrics, were very distinctive to the Japanese eye when compared with traditional cotton indigo fabrics. These beautiful, exotic sarasa fabrics quickly became enormously popular among wealthy samurai and merchant classes.

Imported Indian calicos were expensive. Small pieces were used to make important and costly items like bags for tea ceremonies, tobacco cases and pouches

Domestic production of calico began when skillful Japanese dye workers found a method to replicate the designs of Indian calicos into their own style and production techniques. Master Japanese textile makers applied their indigenous katazome textile printing skills to making sarasa (rice paste resist dyeing with stencils "katagami") . These textiles were characterized by shades of akaso (madder, reds and browns) and indigo with distinctive Japanese floral designs and geometric shapes. As domestic sarasa became widely produced, this flamboyant textile became available throughout Japan for the fortunate women who could afford to purchase the pleasing to the eye fabric.

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