Hanjuban (half length underkimono)
Silk, cotton
Patchwork; stenciled, clamp resist, other techniques

This hanjuban is well worn and seems very humble, but almost all of it is made of varieties of silk – plain weave, crepe, tsumugi (wild silk), and velvet, all expensive materials. Only two of the many fabrics – both lining the collar – are cotton. One is a plain weave in blue; sewn on top of that is the other, a white fabric with a diamond shaped satin weave. The outer collar is deep blue silk velvet, and the flat selvedge of the velvet has been incorporated into the design, rather than hidden.

Above, the back view of the hanjuban.

Below the velvet collar are three separate designs of plain weave blue, black and white stenciled silk. The colors harmonize so well that their differences are not immediately apparent.

The hanjuban turned inside out.

Part of the sleeve lining consists of two varieties of lightweight crepe silk that appear to have been dyed in safflower, now very faded. These may have been placed in the lining despite their beautiful patterns and color because safflower was believed to have medicinal value when worn next to the skin.

Tiny unobtrusive reinforcement stitches help maintain the integrity of the fabric and prolong its useful life when it starts to wear thin.