Girl’s padded underkimono
Varieties of silk, silk padding
Shibori, stenciling, clamp resist

That the designs are limited to the sleeve edges, collar, and hem indicate that this is an underkimono. These parts are expected to pop out flirtatiously at the sleeve openings, collar and hem of the kimono worn over it. Any additional designs would go unseen. The length of the sleeves indicates that this underkimono was for formal occasions.

This underkimono is comprised of six separate kinds of red silk. The center back is a simple plain weave silk. Below that is a strip of safflower shibori in asanoha (hemp leaf) pattern, and below that, at the hem, is a separate strip, probably stenciled. The large sleeve openings are dyed with clamp resist, the small sleeve openings are safflower shibori, and the sleeves themselves are chirimen – highly twisted silk crepe. The lining is also made of plain weave silk.

Above is a close up of the hem. From a distance, the hem looks like a single material, but close up the difference is easier to see.

Safflower was once an extremely expensive dye, and red was an extremely popular color, so dyers also used madder, among other sources, when red was called for. Safflower is also a fugitive dye, and can lose color in a telltale manner. The horizontal yellow strip on the left in the photo above shows safflower dye that has lost color.

The lightweight padding inserted between the outer and inner layers indicates winter wear.

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