A Length of Twined Silk Rope: Recycled 19th Century Kimono Padding
mid-to-late 19th century
as shown: 22" x 9" x 4", 56 cm x 23 cm x 10 cm
Although at first glance this shank of twined rope looks like cotton rope or a laundry line it is actually quite different.
It was said to have been hand braided from silk floss, either leftover or recycled from kimono padding. Because the material is not as dense as cotton, this length of rope is extremely lightweight.
Not only is it lightweight, but it also appears to be very strong: in grasping it from two areas and pulling it, there is a great deal of resistance from it: this rope can still be used if so desired.
More than that, this is a wonderful example of the ingenious Japanese re-use of materials and it is a marvelous fragment which has come to us from old Japan.