A Child's Boro Kasuri Kimono: Tattered Cotton
late nineteenth, early twentieth century
27 1/2" x 29 1/2", 70 cm x 75 cm
This tattered and frayed little kimono was once worn hard by a small child in old Japan. It is made from indigo dyed cotton kasuri cloth which was most probably recycled from an adult's kimono--evidence of this is seen on the last detail photo which accompanies this post which shows a subtle repair to the surface of the garment.
The small kimono is fully lined in similarly recycled cottons, and in this case the lining is pieced together of scraps; the entire kimono and its lining are hand stitched.
It is easy to see the breaks in the cloth of the kimono, especially seen on the sleeve and the area near the front ties where there is loss.
The imperfections, the surface abrasion, the repairs and the tears to the cloth are all vivid details of what everyday clothing was really like in old Japan, and we can assume that whatever child wore this little kimono, he or she probably owned just this one, which was no doubt passed along to another.