A Small Baby's Asa Kimono: Indigo Dyed Kagasuri
ca. early to mid twentieth century
17 1/2" x 18", 44 cm x 45.75 cm
This is a baby's kimono, and it is tiny.
It is hand stitched from a very beautiful, indigo asa (hemp or ramie) cloth which is dyed in the kasuri method which means that the cloth's yarns were tied in specific areas before dyeing, the goal of this was to block the flow of dye into the fibers which would mean that, when woven, the cloth would show undyed areas forming a pattern.
In this case, the pattern is a very difficult one to achieve: it is called kagasuri or mosquito kasuri, the name being a reference to the tiny cross hatches which form the basis of this pattern: they are as small as a mosquito.
To achieve such a small pattern such as kagasuri takes an accomplished weaver; it takes one whose skill allows her to line up both the warp and weft yarns with such precision that the tiny white blips on the yarn cross to become little mosquitoes.
In very good condition, this is a wonderful child's garment made of wonderful, hand loomed asa cloth.