Vintage Yukata Cottons
Yukata is a traditional garment, or casual summer cotton unlined kimono, which is worn by both men and women at outdoor summer events and festivals. They are also worn at Japanese inns (ryokans) after bathing. Traditional yukata were made in cotton, with traditional patterns printed with indigo dye. Today yukata are now also made in wide variety of colours and designs to appeal to the younger Japanese who prefer bright vivid colours and bolder patterns. However many of the older generations still prefer the more traditional designs and muted colours. Most of the vintage yukata cottons we work with date from 1950’s and 1960’s, but some may date from more recent decades. Given the age of some of these textiles, some may have a few small patina marks on them. We have endeavored to indicate this on each item that we offer for sale. If they are new textiles then we also indicate this on the item we offer for sale.
Vintage Omeshi Kimono Silk
Traditionally kimonos worn by those at the Imperial Court used to be called Omeshi. Ienari the 11th Tokugawa Shogun loved this textile. Omeshi was ranked as highest in quality and value among kimono silk textiles. It is a heavy crepe silk woven with strongly twisted pre-dyed threads. It is a textile that is created using the Ikat method.In the 1950’s and 1960’s Omeshi Silk enjoyed resurgence in popularity and was used for high end daywear or formal wear. Since then it has not been produced as much. You usually can only find it in an antique kimono. Most of our Omeshi silk dates from 1950’s and 1960’s.
Meisen silk became popular in Japan between 1920s-1950s, but most of it appears to be from around the 40’s and 50’s. Meisen was popular because it was cheaper than many of the Japanese silks, was “modern” and used many colourful designs, frequently drawing on western influences and seemed to be adventurous and innovative. Even today they retain a contemporary sensibility. Production of meisen silk had ended by 1960. Its popularity gave way to wool as a kimono textile.
Meisen is a reeled silk made from damaged cocoons that had formerly only used for tsumugi (hand woven slubbed silk). It is fabricated by weaving pre-dyed threads using the tie-and-resist ikat technique.
Vintage meisen silk is now very difficult to find in a good enough condition to recycle from an antique kimono. It has such a crisp and supple texture that it is one of our favourites to work with.
Chirimen and Kinsha Silks
Chirimen silks have a slightly textured surface similar to a crepe, achieved by twisting the threads during weaving. Chirimen is heavier and stronger than Kinsha. Kinsha is a fine and light, chirimen style silk crepe. It was a high end silk worn by the upper classes. Kimonos made from this silk were popular in summer months. The silk threads are dyed up to 20 or 30 times to obtain the vibrancy of colour. It has a smooth texture which results in crisp lines, perfect for hand painting or dying detailed scenes. Vintage Kinsha Silk is now very difficult to find due to its age.
Jinken was produced in the Taisho Period (circa 1918). After WWII, Japan became the biggest producer of rayon. Many of the Maru Obis from pre-WWII were woven in jinken and cotton. Those woven in pure silk were rare. Jinken was made from wood pulp and has a touch similar to silk but it is sometimes stiffer or crisper than silk. It is a natural fibe and is not truly synthetic.
A very thin and light textile made from hemp.
A type of stencil dyed fabric originating from the island Okinawa typically featuring bright colours.
Backing and Lining Fabrics
All of our backing and lining fabrics are 100% silk, cotton or linen, depending upon the feature textiles used in each article we create.
We recommend dry cleaning to preserve the textiles and the colours so they will endure well into the future.