[ Content | Sidebar ]

A Niko-Niko Kasuri Child’s Kimono: Toddler Size

December 22, 2012

NikoNikoChildsKimono01a This very wonderful, very worn, very small cotton kimono measures 21″ x 20″ or 53.25 cm x 50.75 cm.  It dates from approximately the 1930s.

NikoNikoChildsKimono01The kimono is hand stitched from a commercially produced kasuri or ikat cotton called Niko-Niko.  This kind of faux-kasuri is really faux: the cloth was commercially printed to mimic the look of true kasuri cloth.  This kind of cotton was very popular in Japan in the 1930s.

NikoNikoChildsKimono01bThe image on this kimono is just charming.  It seems that the cloth is imprinted with a repeating design of pigeons and chrysanthemums.  The scale of the print in proportion to the very small kimono is delightful to see.

NikoNikoChildsKimono01cThe collar area and a patch on the back of this tiny robe are of actual, hand woven kasuri cotton, and this contrast is very subtle and beautiful.

NikoNikoChildsKimono01dSeeing this very small kimono in person is endearing: it is so small, it is so well-worn, it is so shabby that we know that the child who wore this kimono was certainly not of means.   We can also speculate that the child had few other garments, if any.

A really charming piece of children’s clothing from old Japan.

In: Tags: - 2 Comments

A Bashofu Kimono: Kasuri in Banana Fiber

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.

In: Tags: , - 1 Comments