An Edo Period Child's Silk Kimono: Yuzen Dyed and Cut-Out Designs
mid nineteenth century
32 1/2" x 28", 82.5 cm x 71 cm
This is an amazingly attractive small, chirimen or crepe silk child's kimono that dates to the mid nineteenth century. It is dyed entirely in botanical dyes and it is decorated beautifully by hand.
The decoration is done in the yuzen technique which employs both resist dyeing and hand painting. Curiously, many areas of the design, which shows cranes and young pines are cut out, exposing the pale coral colored cotton lining. It is unclear why these areas were excised but even so, the overall "vibe" of the kimono is intact.
The rich, warm blue color is indigo, the patterned purple silk is dyed in gromwell root, the lining is silk and cotton, each of which was dyed in safflower dye: the silk is a decidedly different color than the cotton which reacts very differently to the benibana or safflower dye.
Aside from the loss of about 1/2 of the hand painted design, there is overall wear and a few small holes to the kimono, which is natural for its age.
Still this piece really broadcasts a rich feeling of old Japan and is a great addition to any collection of Japanese textiles.