An Itajime Silk Juban or Under Kimono: Hand Painted Details

$245.00 USD

early twentieth century
59" x 48", 149.8 cm x 121.9 cm

This is a lightly padded silk juban or under kimono. It has been dyed in the itajime process and shows borders of silk that have been hand painted and dyed in the yuzen method. 

Itajime is a laborious and ingenious dyeing process using hand carved wooden boards: a full bolt of cloth is clamped under great pressure between the boards. 

A tall stack of boards set in mirror image contains the entire bolt which is fed in between all the boards. The stack holding the cloth is secured and is then lowered into a dye bath: the parts of cloth that are highly pressurized by the raised parts of the boards resist dye.

Sometimes boards are carved and fitted with drilled holes which let dye in in  specific areas as is the case of the one offered here.

The orange-toned silk that composes most of this juban is itajime dyed: there are two types shown, the predominant one illustrates a variety of traditional motifs artfully arranged within a geometric format. The sleeves show another type of pattern of butterflies that are made to look like chrysanthemums!

No doubt synthetic dye was used for the itajime dyed section--real safflower dye was used for the lining and judging by the fact that the lining is in nearly perfect condition it stands to reason that this juban was barely worn, if at all.

The hand painted/yuzen dyed grey silk borders show a winter scene of ducks, bamboo, still water and snow-covered flowers. Just charming.

In very good condition this completely hand stitched, traditional under kimono would be a wonderful thing to study, own or display.