Written on July 17, 2012
Many of you are familiar with bashofu, the famous banana fiber cloth woven in the Ryukyu Islands, or Okinawa. Today I’m showing a very good kasuri or ikat kimono woven from bashofu.You can see that the cloth is double kasuri, meaning both the warp and weft yarns are tied before dyeing in order to create a pattern once they are woven. The warp yarns are dyed in a brown dye called sharinbai while the weft yarns are dyed using Okinawan indigo or Ryukyu ai.As can be seen in the photo, above, there is a stitched pleat that encircles the garment about a 18 inches above the bottom hem: for some reason the owner of this kimono shortened the coat this way. At first I thought this seam was the joining of two pieces, but when I examined the inside of the kimono I noticed the kimono was uncut.The indigo weft yarns are subtle but beautiful. And as is not the case with most bashofu kimono, this one shows virtually no wear or damage. I estimate that it was woven in the early 20th century.This garment would have been worn by a commoner, but its a very good example of a bashofu kimono that shows an attractive pattern and is in very fine condition.