A Beautifully Aged 19th Century Cotton Jacket: Mended Cloth
mid to late 19th century
35" x 48 1/2", 89 cm x 123 cm
This very simple-looking, indigo dyed cotton garment is exactly the kind of garment which was worn every day by a common person in old Japan. The subtly patterned, small-checked, hand spun, hand woven cotton cloth was widely woven in Japan of the 19th century, and this jacket resonates loudly with memories of life on another era.
The cotton is just beautiful. The construction of the coat is curious: by looking at all the photographs it is easy to see that this coat was re-assembled from an existing garment most notably by the patterns created from fading. The coat was once another type of jacket that was taken apart and reconfigured--most notable evidence of this is on the back's center seam which shows a vertical line of darker dyed cotton.
Beautiful as well is the interior with its patched repair: subtle, beautifully arranged patches are applied to the coat's interior. There is some light fading to the bottom half of the coat, more noticeable in photos than when seeing the piece in life, and there are a few small holes and pulls to the old cloth, some of them shown in the accompanying photographs. This slightly worn surface damage is in keeping with a coat of this age and with a history of being worn as hard as it was.