Antique Japanese Embroidered Kimono

Antique Japanese Silk Embroidered Kimono | Rare and Collectible Garment


Age:Meiji (early 1900s)

Descriptive qualities& condition:

Dimensions: 56-1/2” Long x 26-0” Shoulder Width 

Shown is an Antique, custom, and flawless full-length Silk Embroidered Kimono demonstrating the artistry of the maker. The fabric has a beautiful overall raised orchid motif which is extremely soft and sensual, in a traditional, one-color Iro Muji dark claret, (Kuraretto). The kimono has a hand-stitched Rinzu, (silk satin damask), lining to protect the outer lace garment and to also give warmth in the cold winters. The attached collar, (Eri), and Kimoni has a full interior lining, which is hand-stitched to the outer fabric. The entire garment is treated fancifully, which is typically done when wealthy women would invest in expensive garments in order to show off their wealth to others in situations such as changing at the bathhouse. The piece is constructed to drape comfortably and beautifully and has 18-0” short sleeves. This unique kimono is truly something to behold and a textile collector's find.

Antique Condition: The heavy-weight garment is in pristine, original condition for its age, (no fading, flaws, pulls, or stains on the textile), and incorporates the hand-crafted philosophy of beauty and usefulness. 

NOTE: Kyoto was the center of a flourishing embroidery industry, as the country settled down under decades of peace, tastes in clothing became more luxurious. Wealthy women and men wore kimono lavished with embroidery from top to bottom which was later prohibited because of the display of luxury by the Shogun's government. Embroidery was though permitted as related to gifts of clothing given on major ceremonial occasions, such as weddings, all controlled by the Kyoto Embroidery Business Association. After several years passed, in 1976 hand embroidery in Kyoto was named a Traditional Craft Industry under the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, but remained a rare commodity. Most companies making custom embroidered Kimono were small, with one to six employees, almost all family-owned businesses typically operated by a husband and wife.

Given the Japanese custom of appreciating the changing seasons and changing one's clothing to suit the season, embroidery in Japan developed in the direction of freedom of expression related to a variety of seasonal motifs such as flowers which indicated virtues or attributes of the wearer, where it bestowed prosperity on the owner and the family when it is handed down to others.