I have been wandering around down the rabbit hole of surface design techniques for the last month or so... with the initial intention of making a kosode
* to wear to an event that honors my friend Kateline
. As we are both in the same historic re-creation organisation that covers a time span of the middle ages and renaissance, the plan has been that those who want to can make suitable historic Japanese clothing.
I have long had a desire to actually do some indigo dyeing, and took this opportunity to do some shibori with my friend Jess... I found that the preparation of the stitched panels was very time consuming, but the results I got were very exciting to me. Lots more information and pictures on my blog post "out beyond blue"
Because there was a limited amount of time between when I got this idea and the actual event, I decided to use stenciling and block printing for the rest of the decorated panels. As I noted in my next blog post " Stenciling is faster than shibori. Block printing is faster than stenciling."
The various panels have all been attached to one another and the basic kosode is assembled, and I am now doing the hand hemming of the edges, and various sleeve openings...
I am attempting an interpretation of this
Kamakura period (12th to 14th century) kosode. While the original was made from silk woven to look as if it was pieced together from varying panels, I am instead actually piecing together alternate panels of plain linen in a tiny check and boldly designed shibori and stenciled and block printed linen, all in my favorite tones of indigo blue. Why?... because I admire the Japanese style and aesthetic. And lest you think I have gone entirely around the bend, this garment will, after the event, turn into a rather splendid house robe for my everyday wear. (and I am considering lining the body of the kosode with silk, which will make it both warmer in the winter, and make it feel wonderful!)
*kosode is one early form of what eventually became the modern kimono