A Pieced and Patched Reversible Silk Koshimaki: Two Interesting Sides
ca. mid to late twentieth century
Pieced silk area: 30 1/4" x 52", 76.5 cm x 132 cm
A koshimaki is a kimono undergarment, a kind of half slip that would have been worn beneath a kimono in a similar way as an apron would be worn. In previous generations, because the Japanese made their own clothing, often undergarments would be stitched from remnants or from re-purposed cloth.
Although it is hand repaired, this mid century koshimaki seems never to have been worn. It is made mainly from commercially produced silks with a wide, cotton band at the top. The proper front of the koshimaki is made of about 8 pieces of commercially dyed silk which have been hand stitched together. These silks were probably gleaned from a kimono.
The proper back of the koshimaki is hand stitched from about 12 separate pieces of cloth, mainly cotton and possibly some fragments of very lightweight wool. These pieces, too, are all re-used, and the mending stitches and patches lend an air of delicacy to the overall feeling of this side of the undergarment. There are sprays of small holes to this side of the garment.
A lovely piece and one with a great deal of visual interest and one with two sides very different from each other, but each very beautiful.