Antique Shimacho Sample Book
Shimacho (lit. 'stripe book') sample books were often kept by home weavers as examples of their own stripes and checks - when weaving at home was the norm. Or sometimes they were used as commercial sample books. This shimacho is a slightly more eclectic mix and includes a few random samples of more complex weaving, katazome resist dyeing, and printing. It has been part of someone's private collection. A first impression might be that these indigo cotton fabrics were created by and for the rural poor, but the fineness of most of the patterns suggests that they were woven for a wealthier and perhaps urban clientele.
The book measures 13.5 cm x 18cm and has 15 double-sided pages. Most of the tiny swatches are firmly in place but the pages are barely held together (see last photos) and the front page has detached completely. This dates from around the middle of the 19th century.
Price includes GST and postage within Australia