By Patricia Belyea
Geometric designs on yukata cottons signal that the fabric was made for men’s kimono. Traditionally the patterns were hand-dyed in indigo and white.
The range of patterns is seemingly endless. From purely abstracted geometric forms to well-known Japanese motifs to simplified everyday objects, geometric yukata cottons hold meaning and offer lots of inspiration.
Let’s take a look at some well-known patterns:
Tortoise shell (symbolizing longevity) with diagonal stripes
Nested measuring boxes
Basketweave (a modern interpretation)
Four eyes (denotes preparedness for attack on all sides)
Woven (a popular pattern when specialty woven fabrics were expensive)
Double lattice (known as hishi and inspired by the leaves of the water chestnut)
Complex pattern with wooden pestles, bamboo stripes and lattice
Sometimes geometric patterns are created in different color combinations than indigo and white. Here are three patterns dyed with two shades of indigo:
Hemp (elongated, with dashed lines)
Stripes (once reserved for the nobility)
Complex pattern with abacus beads, stripes, basketweave and interlocking nested boxes
Using geometric patterns in quilt compositions
In this detail of Ikebana, inserted arcs of bold geometric patterns—tortoise shell and hemp—contrast with the background grid of petite geometric patterns.
The indigo stripes in Fragmented, a curved quilt composition made with improv-pieced yukata cottons, creates the most drama.
Combining geometric yukata cottons with English Paper Piecing creates a compelling look.
To see the complete collection of Geometric Yukata Cottons at Okan Arts +click here