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Image of Gallery in South Kensington
Not currently on display at the V&A
On short term loan out for exhibition

Sleeping Coverlet

19th century (made)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

This over-sized kimono is not really a garment, but a form of bedding known as a ‘yogi’. It is thickly padded with cotton and would have wrapped around the sleeper, protecting her or him from cold draughts. The fabric is sarasa, a type of cloth inspired by the block-printed and wax-resist textiles of India and South-East Asia imported into Japan by Dutch traders. The large design on the back is the crest, or mon, of the family for which it was made.


Object details
Categories
Object type
Materials and techniques
Plain weave wadded cotton with a printed polychrome design and resist dyeing
Brief description
Yogi, plain weave wadded cotton with a printed polychrome design and resist-dyeing, Sakai (Osaka Prefecture), Japan, 19th century
Physical description
Wadded sleeping coverlet (yogi) cut in the usual kimono style but larger and with the sleeves fully sewn to the body. Additionally there is a vertical strip of material inserted down the centre back and lining. The yogi is a coverlet not an article of apparel.

The garment is of plain weave printed cotton (sarasa) with a small-scale design of checks containing flowers in brown, blue, yellow and green with a brown speckled ground. On the back, at the top, reserved in the natural un-dyed cotton is a large crest (mon). The lining, which also forms a very deep wadded hem (27 cm) and cuffs is dark green plain weave cotton.

All the seams have decorative stitching of alternate long and short running stitches in dark green twisted thread and there are further pale green quilting stitches in untwisted thread running across the garment. Both sets of stitching help to keep the wadding in place.
Dimensions
  • Repeat length: 18cm
  • Repeat width: 9in
  • Repeat length: 46cm
  • Repeat width: 22.8cm
  • Collar to hem length: 62.5in
  • Collar to hem length: 158cm
  • Including sleeves width: 66in
  • Including sleeves width: 167.5cm
  • Under arms width: 30in
  • Under arms width: 76.2cm
  • Silk width: 18.5in
  • Silk width: 47cm
Styles
Gallery label
This heavily padded, oversized kimono is actually a sleeping coverlet (yogi). The fabric is inspired by Indian examples. Japanese textile artisan adapted local techniques such as stencil dyeing to create wa-sarasa. The large crest suggests this yogi was produced for a wedding, when such symbols of family status were often prominently displayed. (29/02/2020)
Object history
Purchased. Registered File number 1983/2216.



According to the vendor, this sarasa is called Sakai sarasa after the town (near present day Osaka) where it was made. He gives it an early 19th century date.
Historical context
For another yogi still with its wadding see Mailey, j. & Nishimura H., Tagasode: Whose Sleeves... Kimono from the Kanebo Collection, New York: Japan Society, 1976 p.54, plate 19. NAL Bibliographic Ref. No.: 78.N
Subjects depicted
Summary
This over-sized kimono is not really a garment, but a form of bedding known as a ‘yogi’. It is thickly padded with cotton and would have wrapped around the sleeper, protecting her or him from cold draughts. The fabric is sarasa, a type of cloth inspired by the block-printed and wax-resist textiles of India and South-East Asia imported into Japan by Dutch traders. The large design on the back is the crest, or mon, of the family for which it was made.
Bibliographic references
  • Jackson, Anna, Japanese Textiles in the Victoria & Albert Museum, London: V&A Publications, 2000, plate 77
  • Jackson, Anna, Japanese Country Textiles, London: V&A Publications, 1997, p.17 & 105, fig 16 & 73
Collection
Accession number
FE.155-1983

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Record createdFebruary 24, 2003
Record URL
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