Noren thumbnail 1
Not currently on display at the V&A

Noren

late 19th century-early 20th century (made)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

This Japanese textile is called a ‘noren’. It would have hung at the entrance to a shop or restaurant to indicate that the establishment was open for business. Noren, still used in Japan today, give protection against rain and dust and shade from the sun. They also dissuade prying eyes, yet can easily be brushed aside to allow people to enter. Noren are made from separate panels of cloth sewn together at the top. They have simple, bold designs that suit their function as advertisements. This noren, with its stiking octopus motif, probably hung at the entrance to a shop or restaurant specialising in seafood.


Object details
Categories
Object type
Materials and techniques
Plain weave cotton, with freehand paste-resist decoration (tsutsugaki)
Brief description
Noren (door curtain), woven blue cotton with paste-resist octopus design, Japan, late 19th - early 20th century
Physical description
Doorway curtain (noren), constructed from two loom widths of cotton. The design is of an octopus among waves executed using the tsutsugaki technique. The pattern would have been outlined in rice paste extracted from a cloth tube, these ribbons and spots of paste being the areas protected from colour when the dyes were applied. The orange shades would then have been brushed on before the whole of the octopus was covered in paste and the fabric dipped in an indigo dye bath to achieve the pale blue of the waves. These areas would then have also been covered in paste before repeated dipping to achieve the very dark blue of the background. The two sections would then have been sewn together vertically at the top, leaving the lower part open to allow passage through the doorway. At the top are three dark indigo dyed tabs, sewn on pale indigo cotton thread.
Dimensions
  • Length: 1000mm (Note: Measured by conservation)
  • Width: 650mm (Note: Measured by conservation)
  • Depth: 10mm (Note: Measured by conservation)
Styles
Object history
Purchased. Registered File Number 1981/1804.
Subject depicted
Summary
This Japanese textile is called a ‘noren’. It would have hung at the entrance to a shop or restaurant to indicate that the establishment was open for business. Noren, still used in Japan today, give protection against rain and dust and shade from the sun. They also dissuade prying eyes, yet can easily be brushed aside to allow people to enter. Noren are made from separate panels of cloth sewn together at the top. They have simple, bold designs that suit their function as advertisements. This noren, with its stiking octopus motif, probably hung at the entrance to a shop or restaurant specialising in seafood.
Bibliographic references
  • Jackson, Anna, Japanese Textiles in the Victoria & Albert Museum, London: V&A Publications, 2000, plate 86
  • Jackson, Anna, Japanese Country Textiles, London: V&A Publications, 1997, fig 57
Collection
Accession number
FE.49-1982

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest Feedback

Record createdFebruary 12, 2000
Record URL
Download as: JSON