Underarmor Vest
Koyori (paper thread), cotton
Macrame, katazome

Worn under armor, this hand knotted vest kept the wearer from direct contact with his armor and allowed for the circulation of air. The combined use of macrame and paper thread is uncommon in Japanese garments. The soft cottony paper is knotted in the auspicious shippo, or seven treasures, design.

The blue and white stenciled collar is also slightly atypical. The less paper that is cut from a stencil, the less time and labor are required to complete it. Such stencils will produce white designs on a predominantly blue background. For the stencil that made this design, by contrast, most of the paper was cut away, so the background is white, and the flowers are dyed blue. Because of the large amount of white ground, this material would have had to be resisted identically on both sides, or the designs would have lacked clarity and crispness. This doubles the labor process and raises the cost, so white grounds are less common than blue grounds.

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