Kimono, Japan

Kimono, Japan

Kimono
Japan
1870-80
Crepe silk (chirimen), paste-resist decoration (yuzen) and embroidery
Width 129 cm x height 169 cm
Museum no. FE.29-1987
© Victoria and Albert Museum, London

This elegantly patterned kimono celebrates the beauty of textiles through its decoration, which depicts lengths of fabric hung on an elaborate stand and gently fluttering in the breeze surrounded by clouds, fans and falling cherry blossoms. The design was created using a technique called yuzen. This involves drawing the pattern on the cloth with rice paste extruded through the metal tip of a cloth bag. The paste forms a protective coat that prevents the colour penetrating when the dyes are applied. Here the skills of the dyer have been enhanced by those of the embroider, who has highlighted the stand and the edges of the fabrics in gold and added flowers, blossoms and elaborate ties and tassels in pink, white and green.