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  • Place of origin:

    Japan (made)

  • Date:

    1800-1850 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Figured satin silk with tie-dyeing and embroidery in silk and metallic threads

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Japan, Room 45, The Toshiba Gallery, case 9

The padded hem on this kimono indicates that it is an outer kimono, or uchikake, designed for winter wear. Uchikake were worn without an obi, the sash that secures the garment, so no part of the design would have been obscured. The shibori, or tie-dyeing, technique has been used to create a pattern of paper gift ornaments in the shape of butterflies. This has been combined with embroidered plum blossoms. This auspicious motif was a popular one in winter, for it suggested that the arrival of spring was not too far away. This very formal kimono made have been worn for a wedding ceremony.

Physical description

Outer kimono for a young woman (uchikake) of figured satin silk (rinzu). The rinzu has a self-pattern of small diapers and flowers. The design of paper gift ornaments in the shape of butterflies has been created using the kanoko shibori (tie-dyeing) technique with the ground dyed black. The kimono has then been embroidered with plum blossom in silk and couched gold threads. The garment is lined with plain weave red silk which is revealed at the wadded hem. The garment would have been worn on a formal occasion, perhaps for the young woman's wedding.

Place of Origin

Japan (made)


1800-1850 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Figured satin silk with tie-dyeing and embroidery in silk and metallic threads


Length: 179 cm, Width: 124 cm

Object history note

Purchased. Registered File number 1983/587.

Descriptive line

Kimono, fgured satin silk (rinzu) with tie-dyed (shibori) and embroidered decoration of butterflies and plum blossom, Japan, 1800-1850

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Earle, J. (editor), Japanese Art and Design: The Toshiba Gallery Guide, London: V&A Publications, 1986, page 90
Jackson, Anna, Japanese Textiles in the Victoria & Albert Museum, London: V&A Publications, 2000, plate 68
Wilson, Verity, 'Japanese Silk Textiles in the Toshiba Gallery, V&A' in ORIENTATIONS vol.17, no.12; December 1986 ('The Toshiba Gallery' edition)


Silk (textile); Silk thread; Metal thread; Material


Satin weave; Tie-dyeing; Embroidery; Technique

Subjects depicted

Floral patterns; Butterflies; Gifts


Textiles; Women's clothes; Embroidery


East Asia Collection

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