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A Beautifully Distressed Long Cotton Kimono: Colors and Hemp Stitching

Written on March 22, 2013

LongBoroKimono01This is a long, tattered cotton kimono shown inside-out.  The patches inside–their color, their size and their stitching–are raw and beautiful.

LongBoroKimono01aThe base of this kimono is a fairly lightweight, grey-colored cotton.  Most likely, and this is just speculation, this piece was bought second-hand and repaired at home by a poor city dweller or someone in a small town or village.

LongBoroKimono01bThe color palette of the patches and the kimono’s base color are beautiful, as is the stitching.   And by looking closely you’ll see that there is some hemp stitching used to affix the patches to the ground–always a plus in old, Japanese folk textiles.

LongBoroKimono01cAbove you’ll see a remnant of a tenugui, or a traditional, Japanese hand towel.  This fragment, on the left of the above photo, shows a sliver of the traditional hemp leaf motif or asa no ha. 

LongBoroKimono01dAgain, above, you’ll see the dusty, muted colors which make this old kimono so alluring.

LongBoroKimono01eAnd on these two photos, above and below, you can see how much stitched repair was utilized when mending this old coat.

LongBoroKimono01fI’d estimate that this boro kimono, in the state that it’s in, dates to the first half of the twentieth century.  The kimono itself could likely be older.

 

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