Obi thumbnail 1
Obi thumbnail 2
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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

Obi

1800-1850 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Kimono, the traditional garment of Japan, are secured with a long waist-sash called an obi. In the 19th century, when this example was made, women's obi were very wide and often elaborately woven or embroidered. Obi formed an important part of a costume and were tied, usually at the back, in a variety of styles.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Silk velvet with embroidery in silk and gold metallic thread
Brief Description
Obi, yellow silk velvet with coloured silk embroidery and gold thread, Japan, Edo period, early 19th century
Physical Description
Obi of yellow cut silk velvet with designs embroidered on both sides in shades of green, orange, purple and gold metallic thread. The flowers depicted are peonies, paulownia and wisteria and within each floral grouping there is a lozenge and ox-cart wheel motif.
Dimensions
  • Length: 400cm
  • Width: 25.5cm
Style
Gallery Label
Kimono are secured around the waist with an obi. In the 18th century, those for women became much wider and more exuberant. They were often made of richly woven brocade, but the most elaborate were embroidered. Obi do not survive in large numbers. They were easily damaged by frequent tying and were not treasured and preserved in the same way as luxury kimono.
Credit line
Given by Mrs J Douglas Watson
Object history
Registered File number 1973/1886.
Subjects depicted
Summary
Kimono, the traditional garment of Japan, are secured with a long waist-sash called an obi. In the 19th century, when this example was made, women's obi were very wide and often elaborately woven or embroidered. Obi formed an important part of a costume and were tied, usually at the back, in a variety of styles.
Bibliographic References
  • Illustrated in Anna Jackson, Japanese Textiles in the Victoria & Albert Museum, London: V&A Publications, 2000, page 120, plate 127
  • Jackson, Anna (editor), Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk, London: V&A Publications, 2020
  • Rout, Josephine, Japanese Dress in Detail, London: Thames & Hudson, 2020
Collection
Accession Number
FE.23-1973

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record createdFebruary 24, 2003
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