[ Content | Sidebar ]

A Shibori Juban: Hand Spun Cotton and Botanical Indigo

Written on May 24, 2011

With the weeks of rain we’ve been experiencing this spring here in New York, I had to show a shibori juban that’s all about rain, birds and a spring-like feeling.
A juban is a garment worn under a kimono; in the past they were often piece-constructed from “flashy” or contrasting textiles, many of which were “recycled.”  The bodice of this juban is of hand spun, hand woven cotton that has been shibori dyed in botanical indigo. The particular passage, shown below, feels like spring: new blossoms, a soaring bird–and  tendrils of what may be weeping cherry branches suggest rain.The indigo color of this juban is beautifully rich and clear–and the toothy, hand spun cotton is the perfect vehicle to accentuate the rich, blue color of the dye.And the rustically rendered umbrella, below, which is set in a gloomy patch of dark indigo, really matches the wet, cold, brooding weather of the east coast.
The sleeves and the eri, or collar, of this juban are made of commercially produced cotton; very often juban were made of a mixture of cloth, and, that said, very often the sleeves and collars of garments in old Japan were repeatedly taken off and replaced due to wear.On the hem of the garment, above, seen on the lower left just next to the umbrella image, you’ll see an image from Genji ko, or an incense naming game that dates back to the 11th century.  Even the partial lining of the juban, seen below, has a wonderful fragment of old shibori.  The bodice of this juban probably dates to the late nineteenth or early twentieth century–the sleeves and the collar are younger.

Tagged: , .


Comments closed

  1. Comment by beth:

    Wow, this is remarkably beautiful! Thank you for sharing.

    May 24, 2011 @ 7:06 pm

  2. Comment by Heather:

    Your blog is always beautiful, but this juban is unbelievably so. A real treasure!

    May 24, 2011 @ 10:18 pm

  3. Comment by Sue McB:

    What a beautiful garment – I love its delicate designs and soft colour. Just great!

    May 25, 2011 @ 2:47 am

  4. Comment by Claudia:

    You have shown us some beautiful things in the past but this is eye-wateringly beautiful, the best ever. Thank you.

    May 25, 2011 @ 6:22 pm

  5. Comment by Jannette:


    May 26, 2011 @ 4:56 am

  6. Comment by Nancy R:

    This is so very lovely!

    June 1, 2011 @ 10:19 am