Kimono thumbnail 1
Not currently on display at the V&A

Kimono

1880-1900 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

This elegantly patterned kimono celebrates the beauty of textiles through its decoration, which depicts lengths of fabric hung on an elaborate stand and gently fluttering in the breeze surrounded by clouds, fans and falling cherry blossoms. The design was created using a technique called yuzen. This involves drawing the pattern on the cloth with rice paste extruded through the metal tip of a cloth bag. The paste forms a protective coat that prevents the colour penetrating when the dyes are applied. Here the skills of the dyer have been enhanced by those of the embroider, who has highlighted the stand and the edges of the fabrics in gold and added flowers, blossoms and elaborate ties and tassels in pink, white and green.


Object details
Categories
Object type
Materials and techniques
Crepe silk (<i>chirimen</i>) with paste-resist decoration (<i>yuzen</i>) and embroidery
Brief description
Kimono, crêpe silk with paste-resist decoration and embroidery in polychrome silk and metallic thread, Japan, Meiji period, 1880-1900
Physical description
Furisode (kimono with swinging sleeves) for a woman. The garment is cut in the classic kimono style. The wrist openings are small but the sleeves are left open for their entire length of the body side until they join the main garment body. The underarm seam on the garment body is also left open for approximately 11 cm.

The design, on pale blue silk crêpe is denser on the bottom half of the kimono. It consists of blossoms, fans, tasseled and ribboned flower bouquets and lengths of patterned textile (possibly kimono) over stands, all against clouds. The techniques used are resist-dyeing and painting (probably both yuzen and stencil resist) and embroidery (including polychrome untwisted silk straight stitches, knot stitch, stem stitch, laid gold work couched down with small stitches and also padded and decoratively couched, and plaited silk couched down).
Dimensions
  • Including collar length: 182cm
  • Width: 129cm
Style
Gallery label
Outer kimono for a young woman (uchikake) 1880–90 Chemical dyes introduced to Japan in the late 19th century had a great impact on kimono design. This can be seen in the sophisticated pastel hues and delicate shading of this Meiji period (1868–1912) garment. The pattern has been created using the yūzen technique. Designs are drawn onto the cloth with a thin ribbon of rice paste that creates a boundary between the various colours that are then brushed on. Probably Kyoto Crêpe silk with freehand paste-resist dyeing (yūzen); embroidery in silk and metal-wrapped threads Museum no. FE.29-1987 (04/11/2015)
Object history
Purchased. Registered File number 1987/2033.



Brought back to Britain by John Bonham-Carter who visited East Asia in 1881-2.
Subjects depicted
Summary
This elegantly patterned kimono celebrates the beauty of textiles through its decoration, which depicts lengths of fabric hung on an elaborate stand and gently fluttering in the breeze surrounded by clouds, fans and falling cherry blossoms. The design was created using a technique called yuzen. This involves drawing the pattern on the cloth with rice paste extruded through the metal tip of a cloth bag. The paste forms a protective coat that prevents the colour penetrating when the dyes are applied. Here the skills of the dyer have been enhanced by those of the embroider, who has highlighted the stand and the edges of the fabrics in gold and added flowers, blossoms and elaborate ties and tassels in pink, white and green.
Bibliographic reference
Jackson, Anna, Japanese Textiles in the Victoria & Albert Museum, London: V&A Publications, 2000, plate 98
Collection
Accession number
FE.29-1987

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Record createdFebruary 28, 2006
Record URL
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