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Archives for December, 2012

Merry Christmas–in Japanese Colors

December 24, 2012


Wishing you all a wonderful, festive holiday season.  Thank you for visiting this blog and for all your wonderful comments and support over the years…Merry Christmas!


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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.

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A Set of Six Small Sashiko Samples: Practice

December 10, 2012

Today I’m showing a set of six, small, layered cotton pieces, each of which has been sashiko stitched.  As you can tell from a quick glance, a girl in old Japan was being taught to stitch and these are her small practice pieces.
Common stitches are being practiced here, and likely you’ve already seen these stitches on sashiko textiles: the stepped design on the lower, left, above is the persimmon flower motif.  The larger design on the right, above, is a variation on another common pattern, the asa no ha or hemp leaf.
And here are the backs.  Pretty clean work for a novice, wouldn’t you say?

The larger pieces measure around 5 1/2″ x 6″ or 14 cm x 15.25 cm and the smaller pieces measure about 3 1/4″ x 3 1/2″ or 8 cm x 9 cm each.   Of course they made from a cotton base and cotton thread–and they probably date to somewhere just before the middle of the twentieth century.


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