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A Stunning Sakiori Hanten with Recycled Sashiko Sleeves

Written on August 25, 2010

What a beautiful coat: this is a sakiori hanten, a work coat that is woven from a white cotton warp which is fed by weft yarns of shredded, recycled indigo dyed cotton.   The sashiko stitched sleeves seem to be sewn from a recycled sashiko furoshiki; the reinforcement on the neck area is meant to guard against wear, presumably from the strap of a burden basket.

The weaving of the body of the coat is tight and regular; a sakiori garment woven from indigo dyed weft is desirable. The sashiko stitching on the neck reinforcement is just wonderful: the tight stitching gives added strength that area of the coat, and zigzag pattern is the traditional yabane or arrow feather motif.The interlocking circle motif, again, beautifully stitched on the sleeves, is a traditional Japanese motif which is borrowed from the Chinese.  In Japan it is called shippo tsunagi and it is a representation of the “seven Buddhist jewels” mentioned in Buddhist sutras: agate, amber, coral, gold, lapis lazuli, pearl and silver.I find this coat to be phenomenally handsome.  It’s very lightly used and most likely it dates to the mid-twentieth century.  Traditional work coats were still being hand woven and hand sewn well into the twentieth century in rural Japan.

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  1. Comment by Karen:

    It is truly “stunning.” Beautiful stitching. Thank you for sharing.

    August 25, 2010 @ 7:01 am

  2. Comment by jude:

    just perfect

    August 25, 2010 @ 7:28 am

  3. Comment by pam:

    Just the best! Skilled stitching, handsome design. Simple & elegant, yet constructed to be worn for work. A respect for work & the worker embodied here.

    August 25, 2010 @ 8:11 am

  4. Comment by Eva:

    These people did their daily work in clothes that we see as top design…
    Great thing.

    August 26, 2010 @ 10:25 am

  5. Comment by eliza:

    so inspirational. thank you for sharing.

    August 26, 2010 @ 11:00 pm

  6. Comment by Heather:

    Truly gorgeous. If I was to see it in “real life” I think I would fall to my knees.

    August 30, 2010 @ 1:14 am

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