Kimono
Silk, cotton (lining)
Stenciled warps and wefts

This kimono has a very pop art sensibility, although prefiguring the pop era by many years. Japanese textile manufacturers were entirely capable of creating this image without the slight blurriness characteristic of meisen – in which pre-dyed warps and wefts are woven to create a pre-planned pattern. But the slight blurriness that results from the small shift in the design as it is woven was cherished by the Japanese, who had been making kasuri with traditional tied resist for generations.

In order to stencil warps and wefts, one technique was to have temporary warps or wefts, which were then removed after the dye was applied. The stenciled threads were then rewoven with permanent warps or wefts, creating a slightly less crisp design.

Below are close-ups of two pairs of flowers – one from the left shoulder of the kimono, and one from the right shoulder. Although the same stencil was used to produce the pair, when viewed in more detail, subtle differences can be seen in the weaves and strength of colors of the two sets of flowers.

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