A Pieced Crepe Silk Under Kimono: Botanical Dyes and Sparrows
ca. mid to late nineteenth century
25" x 48", 63.5 cm x 122 cm
This is an half under-kimono, han juban, made primarily of hand sewn pieces of chirimen, or crepe, silk, over forty pieces joined together. This color combination of orange and purple is a common one for garments of this sort which are made from scraps of old clothing. The orange dye is from safflower and the purple is from gromwell root, both dyes being readily available dyestuffs especially in Japan's eastern regions.
Note the scenic elements in some of the pieces of cloth: sparrows soaring above snow laden bamboo, flying through a sky of hand painted dye. The sparrows and bamboo seem to be applied through a stencil.
A faint stain to the pale blue block on the proper right front of the coat, the collar shows wear (note the shibori silk on the collar and just near the sleeves). The brown chirimen sleeves were most likely added fairly recently; it is custom to attach and reattach sleeves.
Just beautful and very collectible.