Friday, January 24, 2014

Rags of Wu

The traditional Japanese clothing known as kimono, also has another name, gofuku (literally translated as, "clothes of Wu." It was somewhere during the Edo period (1603–1867 AD), that the style of kimono we have come to commonly know, came into full fashion. Though their beginnings can be traced back as early as the 8th century, as Chinese fashions came into style among the Japanese.

Today I had a grand plan, which was part of a Master Plan, that in truth seems a bit lofty at the moment. Today was the day I was going to unpack the rest of my sewing stuff, fabric and boxes of whosits and whatnots, etc.  I set right in with a great deal of enthusiasm and fortitude, I did.  You know how it is though, don't you? As you unpack you find treasures and treasures are far more interesting than folding and sorting and figuring out where the heck it's all suppose to go. 

I did indeed find treasure.

I found my rags of Wu.

Several years ago my mother sent me a bag full of scraps from vintage kimono. I believe she found them at an estate sale. These are all from what seem to have been well worn garments, dating from maybe the 40s - 60s. Some silk, rayon, linen... Many have stains and holes. I find each piece fascinating. Each one has the remnants of hand stitching, every one of the kimonos they came from had been hand pieced. I love looking at the fine stitching, imagining other makers from the past in other lands.

I begin wondering about the lives of those who made and wore these garments. I may make up little stories about them in my head.

Once I start imagining, I get ideas, and that's when the trouble starts. 
I did manage to get most of the boxes unpacked before I ran off again to look at my rags and read up on Japanese clothing history.

Well, back to the Master Plan... oh maybe I'll start again on Monday.


Sherri B. said...

I love your rags of Wu and the brief history lesson on the Japanese kimono.

I think you did very well getting anything done while having that colorful, pile from the past calling to you...I'm afraid I would have been tempted to dive right in it.

Perhaps you will share one of the stories in your head about who wore and made the garments, how fun that would be.

Have a nice weekend. xo

Flaming Nora said...

My sewing teacher at secondary school was called Mrs Wu. Makes me wonder now. She was a short crabby haggard old English woman. But she had a parade of the most beautiful tall and elegant oriental daughters. Boy they were beautiful. Her husband must have been a stunner!

Tas said...

Masterplan schmasterplan. Always good to get distracted. Keeps life interesting!

A beautiful hoard. I love kimono fabrics and have a little, which is very treasured and in all likelihood will, of course, never be used.

Frances said...

I think that you have some real treasures there. I know that if I had been there with you unpacking those boxes I'd also have set off on many thoughts and dreams, and found much to admire.

Best wishes.

andrea creates said...

wonderful fabrics!

june at noon said...

Really neat, love the hand stitching. The unpacking will happen--when you need something! (And then you'll discover more treasures and wait to unpack some more!)

Annie Cholewa said...

What treasure ... how could you not be distracted by it!