Written on July 30, 2012
It’s still hot and humid here in New York–which reminds me of the even more hot and humid Japanese summers. Which is why I’m showing an asehajiki or a traditional Japanese “sweat repeller” on today’s post.This asehajiki is worn under a kimono and it is meant to provide a cushion of air between the body and the garment, while, at the same time, maybe mopping up a bit of sweat.It is woven from hemp, the warp being a mix of indigo and bleached yarns; the weft being bleached hemp yarns. The sleeves, too, are hemp.The open weave is a mesh which is called mojiri-ori or leno, as it’s called in the West. It’s as stiff as kaya, the traditional Japanese mosquito netting–which, by the way, is usually not woven using the mojiri-ori technique.I love the meandering white cotton stitches that are used to mend weak passages of cloth.
The general color feel of this indigo-and-white woven cloth appears to be a soft grey tone when seen from a distance.Sometimes asehajiki are woven from cotton, also in the mojiori-ori technique. But others are plaited from recycled paper yarn: paper’s probably a more effective sweat sponge than hemp.