Antique meisen purple silk sayagata kimono
A lovely antique meisen silk kimono with a woven sayagata pattern in green, yellow and white on the vibrant violet blue purple background.
This excellent kimono has a vivid acid green lining at the hem and sleeves and is very bright and spring/summery in colour. The feel of the meisen silk is beautifully toothy and soft, really slubby and very tactile. It drapes beautifully.
It is in excellent condition for the age and measures 148 cm long, 61 cm from centre seam to the sleeve edge, and the sleeve drop is 44 cm.
• Meisen: Meisen silk, generally crisp and supple, is one of the Japanese silks fabricated by weaving pre-dyed threads, utilizing the tie-and-resist ikat technique (ikat is an Indonesian term widely utilized to refer to this technique).
In this process, the threads, silk or cotton, are first stretched on a frame. Selected design areas are tightly bound to prevent the dye from penetrating and the hanks of threads are immersed in the dye pots. The bound portions of the yarns resist the dye and when woven, as a result of the threads not being perfectly aligned, create shapes with charmingly uneven edges.
Other Japanese textiles that are made with variations of this technique are cotton kasuri,omeshi silk and tsumugi silk. (described below).
Meisen silk was a popular fabric for casual kimono from 1910 to 1950, in part because it was more affordable, and in part because the designs, frequently drawing on Western influences, seemed adventurous and innovative. Even today they retain a contemporary sensibility.
• Sayagata: the swastika is often found as part of a repeating pattern. One common pattern, called sayagata in Japanese, is made of of interlocking manji/swastikas, left- and right-facing swastikas joined by lines. As the negative space between the lines has a distinctive shape, the sayagata pattern is sometimes called the “key fret” motif in English.