Japanese Traditional Maru Obi – Bird and Floral Motif

Traditional clothing of the Edo period, (1600-1868), included the kimono and obi as we know them today. The obi did not, however, become a prominent part of a woman’s ensemble until the mid Edo period. It was then that textile designers, weavers and dyers all focused their talent on creating a longer, wider and more elaborate obi such as the Maru Obi shown here.

This Maru Obi (design on both sides) is the most formal of obi, with both sides fully patterned along its length. The classic style, as this is, measures 12.6” or 33cm wide x 149.6” long, and is made of high quality silk. It is made of elaborately patterned brocade, which is richly decorated with gold threads in abird and floral motif on an ivory color background. It was most popular during the Meiji and Taisho eras. Due to its exorbitant cost at the time 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. Americans, having discovered the decorative quality of these textiles, use them for table runners and for wall decoration.  Age: 1930s. Excellent original condition with no pulls or stains.

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