(Back view) The resist-dye art of "shibori" is exquisitely represented by this "furisode" (swinging sleeves) kimono for a young woman. A technique dated to at least the Silk Road era, "shibori" utilizes folding, stitching, binding, sheathing, and knotting to protect areas of fabric from penetration during dyeing. A dyer must plot his design exactly on the fabric yardage because kimono size and shape are standardized and the textiles have a fixed loom width, rarely being cut during garment construction. The uninterrupted back area is traditionally the focus for display, and Itoh's virtuoso craftsmanship achieves a continous pattern that impressively crosses the center-back seam and makes the jump between body and sleeve. Additionally, this magnificent design exhibits extreme intricacy of composition, resist knotting (each hand tied eleven times), and pigmentation. Itoh's revival of the virtually lost technique of including as many as 3,600 knots per square "shaku" (approximately one square foot) results in exceptional detail and vibrancy, demanding as much as two years of labor for each masterpiece.
Marking: [stamped in kanji (Chinese characters in a type of signature called Rakken)] "TAKUO"