An Undyed Hemp Work Coat: Patina, Wear and Small Stains
ca. mid twentieth century
40" x 44", 101.5 cm x 112 cm
This is an old work coat, and by its surface we can tell that it was indeed used by someone living in old Japan.
It is beautifully simple is appearance and construction: the body is hand stitched from hand woven, undyed hemp cloth; the collar detail is stitched from indigo dyed cotton.
As mentioned above, the coat was used for daily work in old Japan, and this is evidenced by the all over faint spray of light stains that can be found on the coat, front, back and on its sleeves. Clearly the wearer of this coat used it often, but as much as this is evident by the light surface staining, there is little to no stress or loss to the surface fibers of the jacket, and there seems to be no significant repairs to the cloth itself.
This coat is a beauty in its unassuming appearance, and although there is faint discoloration to the surface, this does not mar its simple beauty. If you choose to, it is still very wearable.