Because textiles were expensive to buy and time-consuming to make, damaged articles were repaired, cut or repurposed as many times as possible rather than thrown away. Many garments were composed of fragments, often very artistically arranged. Here are several fragments that were carefully saved for future use.

This is cotton katazome, but the design is a clever imitation of shibori. The top right corner has been turned down. If it were shibori, it would be identical on both sides. Some katazome is dyed on both sides; this was dyed on one side, which would have been less expensive.

Historically, purple was a highly sought after color, very difficult to achieve, and the subject of numerous sumptuary laws to protect its exclusivity. After the advent of chemical dyes, purple became far more readily available. This is silk chirimen, stencil dyed on both sides with small lattices, blossoms and koto bridges (see both sides on left of textile).

In the chirimen fragment above, men perform Suzume Odori, or the Sparrow Dance, a festival dance originating in Sendai. This popular motif, marked by joy and humor, shows up on numerous different textiles.

The Dutch, dominant traders in Asia, brought Indian and Indonesian textiles to Japan, and these came to be called sarasa. The novel designs, dyes and textiles were highly prized by the Japanese, but as imports they were very expensive and hard to come by. Often scraps were used in small items, such as wallets. This chirimen fragment has a design of sarasa scraps. Ownership of several types of sarasa would have been a status symbol. Eventually, the Japanese learned how to make imitation sarasa.

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