Zokin (Dust cloth)

It has been women’s job to stitch dusters for cleaning. Zokin, or a dust rug, also translated as a dust cloth, which has a number of folds or layers of squares stitched together, has been one of the daily necessities. In every home, mother and grand mother used to sew many zokin and stored them in a drawer for unlimited supply. Zokin is used to clean everything inside of the house such as table top, floor, shelves, and furniture. We even use Zokin to wipe the exterior of the house, bicycles and cars.

many zokin

Zokin in dfferent sizes and fabrics

zokin made out of Indigo scrap

zokin made out of Indigo scrap

The picture below shows that women gathered to wipe off wooden doors, walls anad floors for an upcoming event in spring. Zokin is made out of worn-out Kimono or towels, which is a very practical way of recycling. When a new school year starts, it is a mother’s job to sew Zokin for children to bring to school. At many public schools children are in charge of cleaning entire school by themselves everyday. My daughter attends a public school over the summer each year. She sure bring a couple of Zokin stitched by me to school.

zoukin-gake cleaning

Cleaning the house with Zokin

kid and zokin

A school girl wiping the floor in gymnasium with Zokin.

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