Fireman's Hood thumbnail 1
Fireman's Hood thumbnail 2
+8
images
Not currently on display at the V&A

Fireman's Hood

1850-1900 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This hood, along with its matching jacket, would have been worn by a fireman in late nineteenth century Japan. It is made from several layers of thick cotton quilted together together using a technique called 'sashiko'. Before tackling a blaze the fireman would have been drenched in water to protect him from the flames, the layers of cloth allowing for maximum absorption. The hood has long flaps to cover the back of the neck and the crown is heavily padded to protect the fireman from falling debris.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Quilted cotton with freehand resist-dyed decoration
Brief Description
Fireman's hood, quilted cotton with resist dyed decoration, Japan, 19th century
Physical Description
This fireman's hood is of indigo blue cotton quilted through several layers. Additionally, the crown of the hood is heavily padded. The same cloud resist painted design as the firemans's jacket (FE.107-1982) appears on the inside and the tie-ups bear a small-scale horizontal and vertical band motif like the lower coat section.

The hood consists of two sections of material seamed over the top of the crown. The rear part of the crown is extended down to form a flap for protecting the back of the neck. The front crown also extends down to form two flaps which protect the face and fasten together just below eye level with a button and button hole. There are two tapering cotton ties, 8cm wide at their widest point, attached to the main part of the hood at ear level. These ties are not quilted. A twisted thread loop is sewn to the top of the crown.
Dimensions
  • Height: 4in
  • Width: 4in
Styles
Object history
Purchased with FE.107-1982. Registered File number 1982/1839.
Historical context
In the course of fighting a fire, the fireman who wore the hood reproduced here would have belted the coat (see FE.107-1982) and closed his hood flaps. He would then have been hosed down with water to protect him from the flames.
Subject depicted
Summary
This hood, along with its matching jacket, would have been worn by a fireman in late nineteenth century Japan. It is made from several layers of thick cotton quilted together together using a technique called 'sashiko'. Before tackling a blaze the fireman would have been drenched in water to protect him from the flames, the layers of cloth allowing for maximum absorption. The hood has long flaps to cover the back of the neck and the crown is heavily padded to protect the fireman from falling debris.
Associated Object
Bibliographic References
  • Verity Wilson, 'Country textiles from Japan and the Ryukyu Islands in the Victoria and Albert Museum', Orientations, July 1983, page 28, figs 1 & 2
  • Earle, J. (editor), Japanese Art and Design: The Toshiba Gallery Guide, London: V&A Publications, 1986, page 175
  • Bicknell, Julian, Hiroshige in Tokyo: The Floating World of Edo, San Francisco: Pomegranate Artbooks, 1994, page 45
  • Jackson, Anna, Japanese Country Textiles, London: V&A Publications, 1997, page 62, fig. 39
Collection
Accession Number
FE.107A-1982

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest Feedback

record createdDecember 22, 1999
Record URL