This piece has multiple variations of Marumon as its main motif, a circular and decorative design used either as a single unit or repeated to create patterns for textiles and family crests. In the Nara period, circular designs based on Chinese and Middle Eastern designs were called enmon 円文. During the Heian period, most were simplified or adapted to resemble flora and fauna native to Japan and came to be called marumon.
The motif was widely used by all levels of society. From around the 14 century, the military classes frequently used it in bolder variations. From the 15 century, marumon in variations called monzukushi 紋尽 were frequently used for woven textiles, especially *kosode 小袖 robes and *nou 能 costumes.
The motifs on this piece also showcases flowers of the four seasons. Mixing multiple flowers from different seasons was meant to allow the wearer to use it all year round apart from summer. This also often resulted in a more luxurious style to these motifs as it was meant to look timeless. The techniques used to create compositions of different flowers often varied and relied on layering the flowers against other motifs to allow them to have an overall flow, while still separating them from the rest of the background.
This fabric uses a weave technique known as Nishijin Ori. Originating in Heian-kyōto over 1200 years ago, Nishijin weaving is known for its highly-decorative and finely-woven designs, created through the use of tedious and specialised production processes. It is well-regarded for the high quality and craftsmanship of the resulting fabrics, commonly used for high-quality obi and kimono. In 794, Heian-kyō became the new capital city of Japan, with the Imperial Court and the aristocracy moving to the city as a result; due to this, the production of nishijin-ori increased in order to supply the Court and the aristocracy.
After experiencing a surge in demand after the wars, and later on a decline due to crop shortages, and the moving of Japan's capital the production of nishijin-ori was halted until a resurgence in 1872. The production of nishijin-ori began to flourish once again, following a trip by some weavers to Europe in order to learn from the European weaving trade. During this trip, the weavers learned new techniques from the people of Europe, and adapted to the use of European weaving methods and machinery, such as the production of the Jacquard loom and the flying shuttle. By 1898, the Nishijin textile trade was well developed and encompassed the technology shared by the Europeans.
Dry clean (recommended) / Handwash.
Store in cool and dry place away from direct sunlight without plastic covering to avoid trapping humidity and mildew
Note: As with most vintage clothing, there might be slight stains and small holes dependent on the condition of the piece.