Antique tsumugi silk michiyuki coat w/ woven sayagata
Beautiful antique tsumugi silk michiyuki jacket in excellent condition. This jacket has a gorgeous woven sayagata in white and blue on a black background. It is roomy and stylish and would go well over a casual as well as a formal outfit. Imagine it over black jeans or a black dress!
It measures 86.5 cm long, is 65 cm from the centre seam to the sleeve edge, and the sleeve drop is 48 cm. It is in overall excellent condition, all snaps and ties are intact and in great shape.
• Michiyuki: a traditional “kimono coat” is called a michiyuki. It’s meant to be worn when going out in the street, to protect the kimono from getting dirt or wet, and also to make the wearer warmer. Michiyuki can have different lenghts,from short, waist-line ones to others as long as the kimono itself. It is usually plain color, or has discrete, simple patterns – which makes sense, since it’s made to suffer more wear than the kimono underneath it.
Different from haori (another traditional kind of kimono over-garment) michiyuki has a square neckline, and is usually closed by buttons. It’s also mostly made for women – while haori was a male outfit that ended up having female version too after Meiji period (1868-1912). Also different from haori, michiyuki is always worn closed.
Michiyuki are three-quarter length coats with square necklines. The most common materials for michiyuki are crepe fabric, silk and satin. Michiyuki often have no patterns, but can also feature stripes, checks, or other designs that are more subtle than those of most kimonos and related garments.
• Sayagata: the manji is often found as part of a repeating pattern. One common pattern, called sayagata in Japanese, is made of of interlocking manji, left- and right-facing manji 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.
• Tsumugi: A silk textile woven with hand-spun threads from wild silk cocoon fibres. It doesn’t have a glossy or smooth texture, but a tasteful rough texture. Very time consuming to produce, as the silk fibre has to be joined repeatedly, due to the hole in the cocoon where the silk moth exited, so a very expensive silk. (Also see hige-tsumugi)
Tsumugi was originally spun, woven, and sewn into a kimono by one person for the use of her household, so there are many distinct regional variations. However, all tsumugi can be readily identified by its characteristic slubs and sheen. The slubs (rough lines in the weaving) are created by spinning the silk. Initially tsumugi fabric is very stiff, due to the starch applied during spinning, but the more times it is worn and washed, the softer it becomes. Very old tsumugi is as soft as silk fabric woven from untwisted threads.
Broken threads left inside the silk cocoon are collected by the farmer. These are degummed in a hot water bath with sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and sulfurous acid (a mild bleach). After rinsing, they are hung to dry out of direct sunlight. After drying, the silk floss is placed in a bath of ground sesame seeds and water. The oil from the sesame seeds makes it easier to draw individual threads to be spun.
The floss is handspun (mawata). The spinner uses saliva to adhere the new threads to the old ones. This produces the characteristic sheen and stiffness of tsumugi. After spinning, the thread is dyed and then woven into tsumugi. The most popular patterns include shima, ichimatsu, and kasuri. After weaving, the fabric is steamed to set the dyes and then made into kimono.