Article of the week -Number Six
Each week an item (or two!) from the collection in the studio is featured on the blog. This time, Japanese robes.
A few years ago, a set of kimono and haori (jackets) were added to the collection, along with sashes - obi - to tie the garments. The kimono are both formal and informal wear for men, women and children, and span the seasons with autumnal leaves, summer flowers, winter branches and spring blossom.
The first kimono dates from about the later part of the 20th Century - about the 1960's from the appearance of the pattern. It is hanging next to a wedding kimono, handpainted and embroidered with cranes and clouds, and with a heavy weighted hem. The clouds on the fabric have been created through the use of various shibori techniques while the legs of the cranes are embroidered with gold thread.
On the adjoining wall is a child's kimono. This one is hand-painted with tigers and cubs and has beautiful ties on the front with a small set of blue-triangled stitches fastening the ties. It is lovely piece of design with a fair amount of whimsy included! The cloth has been cut in one piece for the back and front, hece the upside-down tigers on parts of the kimono.
There are a few books in the library about Japanese clothing, including one written in the 1940s to help English-speakers to purchase and wear these iconic garments.