An Indigo Dyed Hand Plied Hemp or Ramie Jacket: Well-Worn
late nineteenth, early twentieth century
39 12" x 45", 100.5 cm x 114.25 cm
This loose fitting, rather large jacket is hand stitched of beautiful, old, hand plied hemp or ramie cloth which has been dyed a warm, rich indigo color.
The asa or hemp/ramie cloth drapes beautifully and has a lovely hand, and this garment was worn well over the years as is evidenced by its overall surface patina and its small snags and holes, all depicted vividly in the accompanying detail photographs.
The indigo is deep in color and it seems that this jacket could have been over dyed in indigo to clean it up and to make its color more uniform: over dyeing for this purpose was customary in old Japan as it kept clothing looking fresh and clean (relatively speaking).
This jacket is made from wonderful, old, hand loomed fibers and its ito aji or thread flavor is very much present in this garment.
A wonderfully simple thing with great character.