A Beautifully Dyed and Padded 19th Century Pieced Silk Juban: Natural Dyes
late nineteenth, early twentieth century
57 1/2" x 48", 146 cm x 122 cm
A juban is an under garment worn beneath a kimono. This one is typical of those worn in old Japan: it is lightly padded with cotton and it is piece constructed of lightweight silks.
Highlighted here is the proper inside (lining) of the juban. The reason for this is the color play between the pieces of silk that were hand stitched together to create this lovely garment.
Most of the silks shown here are in the orange color family. This is due to the fact that the lightweight silks were dyed in benibana or safflower dye, a traditional dye used for kimono linings. Because safflower dye is delicate and light fugitive, you can see that areas of mottled fading on all parts of this juban.
Note the wonderful red and purple colored faux shibori patterns along the bottom hem and on the collar piece. Most likely these silks were dyed in a synthetic dye.
And note, too, the wonderfully subtle interplay of tone and color on this piece, especially seen on both the sleeves.
The silk used to create this juban is extremely lightweight and of course it is old so there are small splits in the silk, some of them shown in the accompanying detail photos.
A large and wonderfully colored garment from old Japan, this juban shows an inspired color palette filled with many visual surprises.