A Child's Cotton Flannel Kimono: Printed Plaid
ca. mid twentieth century
27" x 27 1/2", 68.5 cm x 70 cm
Flannel? Yes, flannel, or as the Japanese call it furanneru or neru, as it is often called.
Flannel was introduced to Japan in the 19th century as the country was opening up and trading with the West. Early on it was a luxury material and then, slowly, it made its way into ordinary life in Japan, although, admittedly, its presence in Japan was not as rampant as it was, for example, in 20th century United States.
Here we see a child's kimono with a wonderful, shadowed plaid patterned cloth: a black print against a royal blue-dyed ground. The dyeing is done using a commercial process.
The little kimono is hand sewn and has still retained its basting stitches, seen in accompanying photos. As well, notice the tiny semamori on the top, center of the back. This is an amulet to protect the child, in this case it is formed as a pair of pine needles.
Note, as well, some areas light fading to the proper, left back of the garment, shown in the photos attached here.