Reclaimed antique blue maru obi with woven sensu fabric
A huge heavy piece of fabric reclaimed from an antique maru obi, in a deep gorgeous blue, with woven sensu (fans). This piece measures 400 cm long by 70 cm wide, unfolded. It is in antique excellent condition for the age, see photos for details.
• Maru Obi: A type of obi. The maru obi is the most formal obi, with both sides fully patterned and pattern along its entire length. The classic maru obi measures 33cm wide. Maru obi with narrower width can be custom made for a petite client. The maru obi is usually made of elaborately patterned brocade or tapestry, which is often richly decorated with gold threads. However, due to its exorbitant cost and weight (which makes it uncomfortable to wear), the maru obi is rarely worn today, except for traditional Japanese weddings and other very formal occasions. Both outside and backside are beautifully patterned. Fully patterned Maru-Obi appeared in the end of Edo era, 1603 to 1687 and it was most popular during the Meiji and Taisho eras. In the Edo era, Maru-Obi was luxurious and the most formal one for wealthy people. Due to its thickness, Maru-Obi can’t be folded in half like contemporary Obi. So, it is worn unfolded. Even if it looked gorgeous, it was hard to wear because of its thickness and heaviness. Moreover, it was expensive. These days, Fukuro-Obi (double fold-Obi) is worn instead of it. Maru-Obi is worn only on the special occasions such as wedding
Sensu fans – The fan itself is symbolic, with the small end representing birth and the blades symbolizing the many possible paths leading away from this beginning. The colors on the fan are also significant. Red and white are considered lucky, and gold is thought to attract wealth. Figures or designs are generally repeated an odd number of times, since odd numbers are lucky-groups of five are thought to be particularly auspicious.