Antique chirimen silk woven asanoha fabric
A beautiful classic asanoha (hemp leaf) pattern woven in red and black chirimen silk, this fabric is medium weight, and comes from an unused bolt intended for a kimono. It is in excellent condition for its age. It has a soft supple and silky feel and has a beautiful drape. It would be well suited to a dress or fine shirt, or anything requiring refinement and elegance.
The fabric is 38 cm wide and is sold by the meter. If you order more than one meter it will be sent to you as one piece.
• Asanoha: The Asanoha pattern is one of the most popular traditional patterns often seen on Japanese kimono. Asanoha means: Asa = hemp: no = of: ha = leaf. The regular geometric pattern, though abstract, represents overlapping hemp leaves. Asanoha can be combined with other seasonal motifs including ume and kikko, or feature as the primary element of the design. In ancient Japan, hemp, along with ramie, linden, elm, wisteria and mulberry, were used for making clothing, fibers and paper.
The wives of merchants would wear it, to bring good fortune to the wearer. Because hemp was known for its rapid growth, the pattern was often used for clothes of newborn children.
“…[p]arents hoped that infants wearing it would develop with the vigor and toughness of the hemp plant.” The Book of Japanese Design, Kyusaburo Kaiyama.
Chirimen fabric is a thick, heavy silk crepe, a crinkled fabric made by the weft threads being kept tighter than the warp threads during the weaving process. Weft threads are twisted as they are woven, resulting in a uneven texture.
This weaving technique was developed in Japan over 500 years ago. Threads may be dyed before weaving, or the fabric can be dyed using various techniques after weaving.
Chirimen fabric drapes beautifully, and it is difficult to crease. Therefore it is very popular for making kimonos.
In addition to a wide variety of kimono, many accessories are made using silk chirimen.
- small bags
- furoshiki (wrapping cloths)
- fabric kanzashi (hair ornaments)
- obiage (scarf like cloths worn under the obi)
Recently chirimen-style fabrics have been made with cotton, rayon and polyester as they are less expensive and than silk to produce. However, silk chirimen is still the most popular chirimen for kimono fabric.
Depending on the colours and style, chirimen kimonos may be worn for both informal and formal occasions.