Donsu , a damask satin. like kinran, comes in a great variety of patterns. It is a thick, lustrous fabric made of silk. It is not as dazzling as kinran,
but rather has a quiet kind of beauty. The design
is integrated into the ground and does not protrude from the surface of the cloth,
as in other brocades.
The pre-dyed warp and weft threads are woven where one side of the cloth is warp faced and the other is weft faced and a design is made by reversing the face in the pattern areas. Not all the meibutsugire fabrics caterogized as donsu have this weave structure. Some exceptions are woven with a twill ground. Since it is finely woven with strongly twisted dyed threads, the overall feel of the fabric is soft.. Chajin especially loved the quiet patterns and pliability of donsu, and for this reason, many chaire pouches have been made with it.
Ariso donsu is an image of fish in the waves. You can also see this motif in the ariso tana and on other tea utensils.
Hosokawa donsu was owned by Hosokawa Sansai (1564-1645) who was one of Rikyu's seven students.
*Fabric photos courtesy of Kitamura Tokusai Fukusaten Co., Ltd., Kyoto, Japan.via the now closed website Tea Hyakka..