Asanoha/sayagata shibori silk headband
A really special fabric, this is twice the geometric pleasure! An antique chirimen silk with both a woven sayagata pattern, then on top a lovely shibori tie-dyed asanoha, in red and black.
This is a small scarf (choker type) or a headband. It measures 84 cm long and 16.5 cm wide and is finished on the edges in a black overlock thread.
I really love this fabric, it is the best example of the type i have run across so far!
• 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 Silk: 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.
• 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.
• Shiborizome: More often known as just shibori. An intricate tie-dye method of making a pattern on fabric. Tiny sections of the fabric are tied or gathered and stitched before it is dyed. The bound area does not absorb the dye, so, when the thread is removed, it leaves a pattern of white dots. A completely shibori kimono can take an entire year to produce. Shibori is greatly prized by the Japanese, who are aware of how painstaking it is to create. Shibori has been made around the 4th century B.C.