A Group of Seven Narrow Pieces of Meisen Silk: Patterns
mid twentieth century
each piece approximately: 70" x 7", 178 cm x 17.75 cm
Offered here is a collection of seven narrow pieces of meisen silk, each taken from the eri or collar portion of a kimono. Each piece shows ingrained creases from its previous life in service of a garment.
Meisen silk is a kind of "everyday" silk that was developed in the Meiji era (1868 - 1912) at a time when Japan's strict sumptuary laws were lifted: these laws dictated what people were allowed to wear and consume (among many other things), notable among the strictures was a ban against common people wearing silk.
Meisen represents the democratization of silk in a changing Japan and it was consumed readily. Its boom market prompted huge manufacture, which, of course, meant that countless new designs needed to be developed.
Meisen is a kind of machine aided kasuri cloth, the quality of silk being pedestrian as these were kimono that were not expensive and were meant to be worn on a regular basis as "town wear."
A very nice group with an exciting variety of patterns.