We had a really inspiring and interesting talk this week at the Solihull Embroiderer's Guild from textile artist Marion Plumb on the kimono. Marion brought along some of her extensive collection of vintage kimono and obi shashes for us to look at and gave us an overview of the history and the decorative techniques used to produce them.
The kimono are hand-stitched and here is the detail from one that has been hand embroidered. They really were something to behold and the intricate stitchwork was stunning.
Kimono are still worn today mostly by Japanese women for special occasions. Marion brought with her examples of kimono called furisode which are worn by girls when they reach the age of 19 at the start of their 20th year to celebrate their coming of age. The furisode is made of brightly coloured silk with huge long sleeves to the floor designed to signify they are single and available for marriage.
Here are some stunning examples of obi which are the sashes used to tie the komono. They are made of brocade and can be up to 13ft long.
Here is a shibori dyed kimono which is the Japanese art of tie-dying using folding, twisting, stitching and binding. Modelled beautifully here by my good friend and textile artist June Parkinson.