Kimono for a woman, 1930-50. Montgomery Collection

Kimono for a woman, 1930-50. Montgomery Collection

Kimono for a woman
Machine-spun pongee silk woven with stencil-printed warp and weft threads (meisen)
Japan, early Showa period, 1930-50
Montgomery Collection

The red, yellow and white ribbons that dance over the black surface of this kimono seem to echo the syncopated jazz rhythms of the age. To create this energetic pattern, chemical dyes mixed with rice paste were applied through stencils to the warp (longitudinal) and weft (horizontal) threads prior to weaving. This innovative technique speeded up traditional hand-tied resist-dyeing methods.