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Archives for February, 2013

A Silk and Cotton Boro Han Juban: Some Hemp Thread Stitching

February 22, 2013

SilkBoro2Since I specialize in indigo dyed cotton boro textiles, today I thought I would show a variation on this theme by posting images of a silk and cotton piece-constructed han juban, a half under-kimono.

SilkBoro2aIn old Japan, many han juban were made by piecing together scraps of cloth and no doubt you’ve seen examples on this blog.  In this case, both indigo dyed cotton and silk fragments were pieced together using a very strident and noticeable stitching, much of it done using hemp thread.

SilkBoro2aaOn the above photo you can see how direct the stitching on this han juban is.

SilkBoro2bAnd above you will see a detail of the collar area: the bottom part of the collar is indigo dyed cotton and the top is of nice, 19th century katazome silk.

SilkBoro2cAnd the inside is very interesting, as well, with more examples of piece construction.


SilkBoro2eThe back, too, has interesting details.

SilkBoro2fI think this piece probably dates to the Meiji era (1868-1912) and it measures  30″,76 cm from shoulder to hem x 48″, 122 cm from sleeve tip to sleeve tip.


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A Collection of Old Tabi Patterns: Recycled Paper

February 8, 2013

TabiPatterns1 These are some of my favorite objects from old Japan: recycled paper tabi patterns, tabi being traditional split-toe socks.

TabiPatterns1aA few years ago I came across another set of these, so when I found this group, I was thrilled.  I think you can probably see why.  They’re really beautiful, and they have a rich and soulful presence.

TabiPatterns1bThe photo, above, is a pattern for a shin guard, or kyahan, which were an essential part of daily costume in old Japan–for farmers and elite people alike.

TabiPatterns1cYou can see that some of the patterns are for the soles of the tabi, while others are for the sides, or the “boot” part of these split-toe shoe-socks.

TabiPatterns1dThey’re all beautiful–at least to me.  Some patterns are made on lightweight washi while others are on thick, card stock.

TabiPatterns1eThey probably date to the late nineteenth century or so.


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