Kimono for a woman, 1930-50. Montgomery Collection

Kimono for a woman, 1930-50. Montgomery Collection

Kimono for a woman
Ramie (asa) with stencil-resist-printed patterning (katazome)
Japan, early Showa period, 1930-50
Montgomery Collection

This elegant summer kimono (katabira) is made of ramie, a linen-like fibre well suited to Japan's hot and humid climate. The pattern has been created by applying rice paste through a stencil on to the fabric surface. When the cloth was dyed the colour did not penetrate the areas protected by the paste, which resulted in a design in white against the pale purple. This traditional stencil-dyeing (katazome) technique continued to be used alongside newer patterning methods.