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Husu

  • Object:

    Apron

  • Place of origin:

    Korea (made)

  • Date:

    1850-1950 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Fulled wool and silk with embroidery

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Angus Macdonald

  • Museum number:

    FE.46-1999

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The husu is a garment that was worn by male court officials in Choson dynasty (1392-1910) Korea. It hangs from the waist, at the rear of an ensemble worn either for ancestral ritual, or for making morning obeisance to the king. Its design consists of two columns of four embroidered flying cranes of blues and whites. Above the cranes is a decorative border including a pair of gold-coloured rings, and below it blue silk netting and a fringe are attached. Most husu are made of silk satin, so this woollen example is unusual. It is made of wool, embroidered with silk thread, lined with silk plain weave fabric and interlined with two layers of Korean paper.

Physical description

Apron, or husu (worn at the back, hanging from the waist) made of a fulled red wool fabric and fully lined with a red, plain weave silk fabric. There are two layers of Korean paper used as interlinings. Blue net and a fringe made of silk are attached at the bottom. The front face is embroidered in polycrhome silk floss. The design consists of clouds, flying cranes set in rows, lotus and a Chinese character. There are two gold-coloured rings on the top section.

Husu refers to the embroidered rear panel sewn to the belt (daedae) which is worn with ceremonial costume. The embroidery design and the pendants’ material adorning the upper part of the panel indicate the rank of the official. For the first and second ranks, a cloud and crane design with golden pendants were used, for the third rank a hawk design with silver pendants, for the fourth rank a magpie design with silver pendants, and for the fifth and sixth ranks a magpie design with bronze pendants. Made of red cotton flannel, this panel is embroidered with cloud and crane patterns and have golden pendants, indicating that it was worn by officials of the first and second ranks. The back is covered in silk. The two pendants are sewn to the upper part of the husu with twisted red thread.

Place of Origin

Korea (made)

Date

1850-1950 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Fulled wool and silk with embroidery

Dimensions

Length: 71.5 cm, Width: 27 cm

Descriptive line

Woollen apron made with silk and gold thread, Late Choson period, Korea, 1800-1899

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

McKillop, Beth.. Korean Art and Design. London: V&A Publications, 1992 plate 58
Beth McKillop & Pauline LeMoigne "Tradition and Transformation : two decades of Korean Art and Design at the V&A Museum" in Orientations,Volume 43, number 6, September 2012, pp.83-91.
National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage. Daejeon: National Research Institue of Cultural Heritage, 2013, p. 293.

Materials

Silk thread; Gold thread; Wool; Silk

Techniques

Embroidered

Subjects depicted

Clouds; Lotus; Crane

Categories

Textiles; Men's clothes; Formal wear; Embroidery

Collection

East Asia Collection

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