This Japanese temari ball is hand embroidered with alternating white and red-purple stars set off against a base of slate grey and makes for a striking addition to any temari collection. The golden marking threads catch the light and shine as the ball is rotated.
Temari is an ancient art, originally Chinese, but introduced to Japan five or six hundred years ago and it has remained a cultural mainstay. Temari were originally a toy for a child to play with, crafted by their mother out of cast-off scraps of silk and old kimonos. The scraps of cloth were wrapped in hundreds of yards of thread and then stitched sturdily together, often so firmly that they would bounce! Over time, the stitching became more decorative and beautiful. The introduction of rubber severely hurt the commonplace temari, but elevated it to an art form. Practiced by aristocracy and nobles, temari balls became a very special gift.
In Japanese tradition, a mother would craft a beautiful temari for her daughter on New Year's, a principal holiday in Japan. The designs are varied and beautiful, and often employ brilliant, jewel-like colors and metallic threads, as a wish for the recipient's life to be just as brilliant. Modern temari may be crafted with Styrofoam bases, however these are made in the traditional manner, with scraps of cloth formed into a ball and wrapped in layers upon layers of yarn and thread. A three-inch temari may have enough sewing thread to go all the way across a football field - four times!
This temari is embroidered in softly graduated shades of red-purple and white in a counterchange pattern. It measures nearly two and three-quarter inches in diameter, (eight and a half in circumference) and comes with a twisted thread hanger so it can be hung on the tree without delay. This thread can be snipped if you would like to display the temari more traditionally; on a small pillow, in a jar with other temari or ornaments, or on a stand are all beautiful ways to showcase these treasures.