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Archives for December, 2010

A Decorative, Knotted Apron: Indigo Dyed Cotton Twine

December 30, 2010

I guess you could call this apron a work of macrame as it is created by knotting indigo dyed, cotton cord to create a decorative pattern, in this case, repeated, elongated rectangles.The apron is backed with white cotton, and most likely this was worn while participating in a festival, perhaps as an accessory to a hanten or happi, a kind of decorated coat worn either for work, or when one is part of a celebratory group during a religious or seasonal festival.The apron is small; it measures 28″ x 15″ or 71 cm x 38 cm, and the intricacy of the knotted work is beautifully executed.

The crisscross attachment of the apron’s belt uses a customary Japanese stitch, and, like the knotted work, is not only beautifully done, but adds a lovely decorative element to the garment.Wonderfully lush, long, tangled fringes, below.

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A Superb Boro Yogi

December 26, 2010

This is the kind of boro garment that, when one finds it, one holds on to it.  The age, the layers, the hand loomed cotton, the variety of patches, the stitching, the wear: this type of high quality boro garment is getting increasingly hard to find. This is a yogi, which is a sleeping kimono intended to provide warmth.  Shown here is the yogi’s outer layer.In its original state, this yogi would have had a lining, and would have been stuffed with either cotton wadding, or, probably more realistically, okuso, or the leftover fiber from the hemp yarn making process. The reason that some yogi were stuffed with okuso is simple: cotton wadding was something of a luxury for rural folk and okuso was material that was more available.Even though yogis are kimono shaped, they were not  worn as a garment.  The functioned as a duvet or comforter: you slept under this yogi which was draped on top of you as you lay on your futon.This is a beautiful, old, boro textile.  It measures 57″ x 48″ or 145 cm x 122 cm.

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