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A View onto Sakiori Obis: Rustic, “Ragweave” Kimono Sashes

Written on May 22, 2009

This is a group of five Japanese sakiori obis which are rolled and seen from above. 

Sakiori is weaving technique that uses “recycled,” shredded cotton textiles as weft yarns.  Earliest examples of sakiori weaving extend back to the early 19th century when poor people were able to acquire cotton rags for the first time: until this time, cotton was a scarce commodity as it had recently been introduced to Japan and only the wealthier echelon of society could afford to buy it.

Rural folk couldn’t afford to buy cotton garments, so they bought rags: they cleaned and shredded the rags and used them to create thick cloth which they fashioned into clothing.  Sakiori weaving endured in Japan until the mid-twentieth century.

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These obis date from the mid-twentieth century; most sakiori obis date from the early-to-mid twentieth century.  Have a look at this lovely one here, and another example of sakiori weaving–just gorgeous–here.

This photo was taken by Lyn Hughes.

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