Saturday, May 17, 2014

The Kimono and Japanese Textile Designs[1-2]
Wearable Art

Marie-Therese Wisniowski

The following link leads to a post on the Basic Kimono Pattern.

Kimonos are classified according to whether the dyeing process is done before or after the weaving process (saki-zome or atozome).

Pre-dyed kimonos (saki-zome) are referred to as woven kimonos. The designs are symmetrical or geometric, such as stripes, checks or the splash pattern called kasuri. These are customarily broken down into the following types:
(a) Silk: reeled silk, heavy crepe, spun silk, silk gauze and leno weave gauze.
(b) Cotton: splash pattern, stripe pattern, and check pattern.

Woven kimonos are also made of wool or synthetic fabrics[1].

Komon (small designs) repeat a diamond shape. The spun silk obi has an abstract design derived from the Chinese phoenix.
Courtesy of reference[1].

Oshima tsumugi is the floss from the leftover cocoons that farmers spun (tsumugu) by hand into thread in order to weave their own kimonos. Oshima was one of the areas where this was done – hence its name[1].

A favorite Kimono fabric is the very comfortable and well sought after Oshima tsumugi.
Courtesy reference[1].

Kimonos dyed after weaving the cloth (ato-zome) are referred to as dyed kimonos. These free-style designs and motifs first became popular during the Edo period, as innovative developments occurred in dyeing and decorative techniques. There are many variations, which are classified by the design process. For example,
(a) Designs dyed on white fabric.
(b) Hand painted designs such as batik and other techniques.
(c) Stencil designs: hand-drawn starch resist dyeing techniques (Yuzen), small stencil designs, small monochrome patterns, polychrome dyeing over stencil resist, and medium size stencils.
(d) Tie dyeing.
(e) Pattern-less monochrome dyeing.

These children have been dressed up for the celebration of Shichigosan. The girls are wearing Yuzen kimono and sandals of gold brocade. The boy’s crested coat (haori) perfectly matches his kimono, which is a woven patterned pleated skirt (hakama).
Note: (i) Shichi-Go-San (literally means "Seven-Five-Three") is a traditional rite of passage and festival day in Japan for three- and seven-year-old girls and three- and five-year-old boys, held annually on November 15th to celebrate the growth and well-being of young children. As it is not a national holiday, it is generally observed on the nearest weekend; (ii) Yuzen dyeing was invented in the middle of Edo era (around 1700) by Miyazaki Yuzen-sai, and has been the ultimate art of kimono dyeing ever since.
Courtesy of reference[1].

Tsukesage refers to the way in which the patterns are dyed. They are dyed from the hemline at the front and back and then upward to meet at the top of the shoulders. The sleeves are dyed from the top to the bottom of the sleeves. Depending on the elaborateness of the gown, this kimono may be worn at either formal or informal gatherings.

The tsukesage pattern of this kimono appears to rise from the hemline. Bustle sash and obi cord harmonize with the gold patterned obi.
Note: The embroidered crest indicates it is a formal kimono.
Courtesy of reference[1].

Kata-zome are patterns that are printed from woodblocks or dyed using stencils, which long ago were also made from wood. When thick paper replaced wood, stencils became simpler, making possible large-scale production of stencil-styled kimonos. Another advantage is that paper stencils enabled the creation of small delicate designs known as komon. Another is Yuzen komon, which has colorful pictorial designs that are very popular among young women[1].

The brightly colored chuburisode is formal attire for young women. Chuburisode is a furisode with medium length sleeves (e.g. 90 cm).
Courtesy of reference[1].

This tsumugi is a yellow (ki) cloth first made on Hachijo Island near Tokyo. (Note: tsumugi Tsumugi's name means "cotton or silk string/cloth"). The bright yellow color is produced from a dye extracted from the kariyasu grass found in abundance on the island. Other Hachijo kimonos are dyed in brown or in black. Tobi (brown) Hachijo dye comes from the madami plant. Kuo (black) Hachijo dye comes from the bark of the chinquapin.
Note: The name "Kihachijo" literally means yellow fabric produced in the Hachijo Island but the name also covers those in other colors.

In this ceremonial uchikake kimono, lines are woven in the background with gold thread. The embroidered design is of flowered decorative paper balls[1].
Note: The word uchikake means "long overgarment"

Kasuri is a tie-dye technique that originated in India, spread to the islands of the South Pacific and was brought to Okinawa in the fifteenth or sixteenth century. After reaching Japan, it evolved into freer and more complex designs.

The basic kasuri patterns are cross and parallel cross designs. More complex are the pictorial kasuri, where pines, bamboo, plum blossoms, cranes, tortoises and so on are woven into the design [1].

This visiting kimono (homongi) for married women has a bamboo grove pattern.
Courtesy of referece[1].

Yuzen is a starch resist dyeing technique that was invented by Miyazaki Yuzen, a famous Kyoto fan-painter during the Genroku era (1688-1704) of the Edo period. Up until then the powerfully expressive geometric designs created by direct dyeing and tie-dyeing methods lacked freedom and subtlety in composition and color. Miyazaki Yuzen technique, using glutinous rice as the resist, started a revolution in the dyeing of free-style designs and led to delicately subtle depiction of small flowers, birds, maple leaves, spring and autumn grasses etc.[1]

The kuro (black)tomesode with five crests is the most formal for married women. The purse has been chosen to match the double-fold obi with its gold and silver fan design.
Courtesy of reference[1].

Bridal Party. The groom is dressed in the most formal attire for men; white under kimono, black kimono, five crested haori with white haori cords, hakama of Sendai hira silk, white tabi, and zori with white straps. The bride wears the uchikake robe over the kakeshita kimono. The uchikake pattern of cranes, waves and pines is for felicitous occasions[1].

Japanese Textile Designs[2]
Japanese textile design has a long traditional history. The master designs the motifs on the textiles; the apprentice - under the direction of the master - reproduces these motifs on textiles.

In all mastery activities, within the Japanese culture (e.g. Tea Ceremony, Judo, Archery etc.) the highest achievement always centers on the process of formal thought. What does this mean? Piaget's stages of intellectual development are as follows: (i) reflexive stage – aping what others do; (ii) the concrete stage - needing concrete examples in order to understand a concept; (iii) the concrete operational stage – using concrete examples to create new concepts; (iv) the formal stage – being able to understand abstract concepts without any assistance.

The textile designs below have this formal aspect to their creation. They come from a book of Japanese textile designs[2]. Volume four in a series contains two hundred Japanese textile designs. This volume introduces various textile designs created at a time when traditional style costumes were flourishing from 1850 to 1920.

 They have been used in the creation of kimonos.

The collection reveals the characteristics and development of Japanese textile designs. 

The series is an invaluable source for ideas and inspirations for designers in many fields including fashion, interior design, graphic design, and illustration etc.

[1] N. Yamanaka, The Book Of Kimono, Kodansha International, Tokyo (1982).
[2] K. Shoin, The Best In International Textile Design: Japanese Style, Textile Dyeing Patterns 4, Mamoru Fujioka, Kyoto (1989).

1 comment:

Eton said...

Beautiful dress and designs. I really like the colors of the dresses which are perfect match with the dress.