A Boro, Overdyed Child's Asa Kimono: Edo Komon Patches
late nineteenth century
42" x 40", 106.5 cm x 101.5 cm
This small kimono is hand stitched from hand woven asa fibers, either hemp or ramie, and the cloth that was produced from these bast fibers is of fine quality as it is very supple. With age, the cloth has become quite soft in the hand and it could easily be confused for cotton.
The blue color is consistent on the kimono's cloth and its patches, the reason being is that this kimono was piece dyed in a vat of indigo so the entire piece is colored the same tone. However, if one looks carefully at the asa cloth you can see that it is of a very small, woven check, and there are warp and weft yarns of a brown color that are still able to be distinguished.
As well, there is a lovely fragment of 19th century, small figured cotton at the neck and shoulder area, a cloth called Edo komon, which is difficult to see because the pattern is so small and because its color is the same as the base cloth.
Shown here is the inside of the kimono so all the mending is obvious--and what a wonderful array of mending there is.
Please pore over the attached photos to see all the wonderful, hand stitched details which make this small kimono the beauty that it is.
A wonderful piece of history from old Japan.