A Beautiful and Humble Noragi: Sashiko Stitched Cotton Work Coat
ca. early twentieth century
Shoulder to hem: 33", 84 cm
Sleeve tip to Sleeve tip: 46", 117 cm
At first glance this noragi or hand stitched cotton work coat may appear to be humble--and it is. If you look more carefully, you will see that this lined jacket is beautiful in an understated way--and it is wearable, too.
The shell of the coat is an indigo dyed cotton of small checks. By contrast, the collar is sewn from indigo dyed kasuri cotton.
The interior of the coat is primarily of a very nice, old, indigo dyed cotton which appears to be hand spun. The sleeve linings are of a purplish colored cotton that was used a great deal in the 1930s or so.
And pay special attention to the hidden beauty embedded in the neck area of the collar: there is a lovely sliver of katazome cotton showing chrysanthemum and arabesques. Just lovely.
But one of the most important details of this old textile is that it is entirely sashiko stiched: over the entire coat are vertical lines of sashiko spaced apart at intervals of 1 1/4" or 3 cm. Note as well the subtle mending patch to the proper left, back of the coat.
In very good, worn condition, this is a vivid reminder of everyday life in old Japan.