Written on July 30, 2009
Trailing ivy and a glimpse of lattice is the motif on this beautiful, late nineteenth/early twentieth century Arimatsu shibori yukata. A yukata is an unlined, cotton kimono, worn for summer outings, during stays at hot springs, and at home.
This is an okkochi zome or “dip dyed” shibori technique: the desired pattern is stitched on the cloth, then, the stitched areas of the cloth are selectively dipped into the dye—-as opposed to the entire bolt being submerged in a dye vat.
The naturalistic effect of a trailing vine is beautifully realized.
This yukata shows a nice, airy pattern. In old Japan yukata were worn on summer nights for strolls, for viewing fireworks and for other diversionary and casual activities. That said, you’ll find a preponderance of “light” and “airy” patterns on yukata which were intended to lend a cooling quality to the hot summer months. Patterns like streams, butterflies, delicate blooms and dragonflies, etc. are often found decorating yukata.