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A Taisho Era Cotton Shibori Yukata

Written on August 12, 2011

For those of you who know, Taisho era (1912-1936)  kimonos have a distinctive look.  Usually large-scale patterns come into play, as do contrasting values and sometimes bright, chemically dyed colors.
Shibori of the type shown here, which is indigo, white and grey, indicates that this yukata, or unlined summer kimono, was most likely dyed in the Taisho era when a grey tone was often added to indigo dyed shibori yukata.The motif which runs in lovely diagonals is fuji or wisteria.  The softness of the shibori dye and the rendering of the fuji is really lovely–and cooling–to the eye. 

The design and execution of this casual kimono is splendid and is evocative of a bygone era.  This yukata has been worn as can be seen by about 4 or 5 small, pale stains.I love this detail, above.  Usually a piece from the end of the bolt was used as a patch on the seat of an unlined kimono: this area of the kimono receives a lot of stress from crouching, sitting, standing, etc., so it is almost always reinforced to keep the yukata’s center seam from splitting.  In this case, the image on the patch, and its orientation against the flow of the design of the yukata, is a lovely, hidden detail.

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3 Comments

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  1. Comment by Allison:

    Oh, that is lovely – especially the grey-indigo juxtaposition. I wasn’t familiar with the practice of adding grey, and am trying to work out in my head the sequence and process for doing so. In the meantime I will just admire it!

    I learn so much from, and find such enjoyment in, this blog. Thank you!

    August 12, 2011 @ 3:32 pm

  2. Comment by judy martin:

    I love seeing the shibori that looks like long vines or rows of leaves/feathers.

    I too, have no idea how the grey gets into the pattern. Shall have to think about that.

    Lovely and educational blog. Thanks.

    August 13, 2011 @ 2:42 am

  3. Comment by velma:

    this yukata is so pleasing to me, the detail, perfect.

    August 13, 2011 @ 8:29 am