Showa period period (1926–89)
Mid to late 20th century
White silk with purple tie-dye design and embroidery Gift of Mrs. Kazuko Miyake, 2016/2.69
By the mid-twentieth century, kimono were primarily worn on formal or special occasions. These exquisitely produced garments often feature bright colors and elaborate patterns. This kimono is lavishly decorated with red and green paulownia blossoms paired with rooster-like phoenixes, both of which suggest prosperity and good fortune.
Multiple techniques were used to produce this luxurious garment. The vibrantly colored phoenix is embroidered with silk threads, while the red and green blossoms were created by weaving lacquer-coated urushi threads into the silk fabric. The white geometric patterns, as well as the additional birds and flowers, were produced using the shibori dyeing technique. To create these variations in color, small bunched portions of undyed silk are tightly wrapped with thread. After being dyed, the binding threads are removed, revealing the undyed parts of the fabric and creating a subtle, puckered texture.
Chirimen refers to the unique wrinkled texture, also called crepe texture, created by a specific weaving technique. This texture is often used with traditional Japanese fabrics, often silk, wool, or synthetic fiber.
Shibori is labor intensive dying technique in which hundreds of hours are spent tying miniscule sections of the fabric before immersing it in dye, leaving the tied parts white. Shibori textiles are very expensive due to the time and skills required to produce them.
The inner lining includes eight different parts (hakkake) on the bottom and sleeve edges that gives the inner lining a more colorful appearance.
lavender and white chirimen kimono with shibori dyed and interwoven violet and maroon kirimon (paulownia) with one embroidered phoenix motifs located at the bottom left and with a red and violet inner lining.