When driving through Zeeland, a province in the South-West of the Netherlands, almost completely surrounded by the sea and as flat as the proverbial pancake, you'd hardly suspect silk caterpillars were bred here in the early 19th century for the production of silk.
The World of Silk museum is (until the end of September 2012) holding an exposition of a very large collection of silk kimonos, uchikakes , haoris , obis and many other items. Most of them date back to the beginning of the last century Taisho (1912-1926) Showa ( 1926-1989) and Heisei (1989-now) era , some even go back to the Meiji era (1868-1912 ). The photos here represent between half and two-thirds of the whole exposition. Most pieces hang in front of mirrors , so one can see the front as well , but I didn't photograph the mirrored side.
The exposition is still open till end of September, every Thursday , Friday and Saturday from 12 till 17h30. For a mere 6 Euro's you get to see a LOT of breathtakingly beautiful and unique pieces of art. And the parking in front and around the building is free
The staff will let you photograph , but without flash ( could be harmful to the coloured fabrics ) and they lend you a colour guide with detailed descriptions of most of the exhibits. There is also a continuous movie shown on weaving ,making and colouring kimonos.
Make yourself comfortable, hook up your laptop to a big screen and click on every picture to see the large version, you'll love it !
( to see the pictures full size , left click on it , and a second window opens , so you can look at the post in the first )
At the entrance the first thing you see is this splendid Uchikake.
Detail of the upper back with phoenix birds
Detail of right sleeve ( mandarin ducks).
Furisode , Showa , hand-painted on black silk,
with three mon (crests).
Furisode, hand-painted silk, Showa
Detail of the sleeve.
Furisode painted in a circular pattern.
Furisode with lots of silver thread
patterning, making it hard to photograph ^^
The pattern shows up better when I darken the
Detail of embroidered flowers on the sleeve
There are several display cases with plenty of interesting items. Here's a few examples : a tsuno kakushi , worn by the bride at a wedding ( it has a hairpiece woven into it )
Another lovely hairpiece.
Comb and Hairpin, 1930
Between the inside room and the hall were several display cases with obi.
Nagoya obi, hand painted pheasant and sakura on shioze ( heavy habotai silk), early Showa
Nagoya obi woven in tsumugi technique , Showa
Fukuro obi , Heisei.
Bridal Fukuro obi , silk satin damask (
rinzu ) Meiji ( 1868-1912 ).
Fukuro obi , pheasants and sakura Showa.
Nagoya obi , Swallows painted in yuzen
technique on shioze silk. 1950
Nagoya obi , Heisei , hand-painted. The three
dimensional raindrops are extremely well done.
Fukuro obi , silk, hand embroidered mandarin
ducks, before 1940.
Obi : woven picture on silk. Not listed in
Fukuri obi ,1950 , painted silk
The inside room , where the movie is shown, contains many more furisodes and uchikakes.
Furisode hand-painted with gold and silver leaf. Showa.
Close-up of the lower part
Detail of the sleeve.
Detail of the hem.
This kimono is listed as bridal furisode
(1950-1960) with filled hem, hand painted on
Detail of the hem.
Bridal furisode (1950-1960) with hand
painted cranes and plenty of gold thread.
What the photo can't show very clearly is the pearly metallic shine of the fabric.
Detail of the right sleeve.
In the inner room a rare Art Nouveau Uchikake was displayed, together with a white and red undercoat, all meant to be worn together.
Taking a picture from below brings out the woven pattern of the white undercoat
and of the red undercoat ( top of the left
I was so busy getting a good shot, that I
clean forgot to photograph the furisode itself
Also in the central room , this embroidered silk screen with four panels is embroidered gold thread on brown silk showing fighting roosters and wisteria flowers (Meiji era).
On the hallway with the kimono were original
obi patterns. Hinagata bon ( lit. : design print
) can be patterns for any kind of fabric but
with the years have come to be known mainly as
These were used by the obi weavers as templates for their obis, but also to show to customers, so they could choose which obi they'd like to buy.
On the left: painted silk with paper backing , Showa. On the right : painted silk , Showa.
Detail of left scroll.
Detail from right scroll.
Hinagata bon painted on paper ( phoenix birds and camelias )
Hinagata bon : painted on silk with Kabuki
Hinagata bon : painting of Noh theatre on
silk, pattern made in Kyoto , Showa
The corridor leading to the garden was lined with very nice examples of men's haori ,that traditionally have decorations on the inside lining.
Men's haori with a hand made sumi-e ( painting in chinese ink ) on the inside, 1930 early Showa.
Men's haori with hand painted drawing on
silk, early Showa.
Women in a bath house
Rare men's haori ( the inside and outside
are made from the same silk) with very large
painting, depicting women on their way through
the fields. 1930 early Showa.
Men's haori : painting on silk of a Shojo in
a sake cup, Japanese ghost with red hair, who's
known for drinking a lot. Showa
Michiyuki ( overcoat for kimono ) with hand
painted drawing on silk of peasant women.
Not only grown men and women wore kimono's . (Rich) children had kimonos made for them too.
Boys kimono embroidered phoenix bird, painted paulownia with family crests. Showa
Boys kimono hand painted boy on koi ( carp)
with family crests. 1950 Showa
Boys kimono hand painted Gosho motifs with family crests. Showa
I kept some uchikake for the last , to keep everyone from getting bored in the first part :)
Bridal uchikake, embroidered depiction of "Tales of Genji" with princesses wearing juni-hitoes ( very formal multilayer kimonos)
Detail of princess near top.
Detail near the hem.
This juni-hitoe uchikake is hanging in the top of the central room. Unusual, embroidered with lots of silver thread instead of gold, depicting peacocks.
Detail of peacocks on right sleeve.
Detail near centre top.
Bridal uchikake handpainted and embroidered
with a LOT of gold thread (1950-1960 ).
The gorgeous crane on top of the back in
embroidered gold thread, looks like could fly
off any time !
Looking at this , one wonders how long it took to make this and more importantly how long it took for the artisan to reach the level one needed to do it this well.
Detail near hem.
Bridal uchikake , embroidered on satin silk,
Heisei. This fabric was very colourful and shiny,
which is troublesome to photograph well, but I
hope some of it comes across.
Detail near the top
Detail near hem.
Detail of crane in middle near the hem.
Central near entrance : bridal uchikake , embroidered silk , garden scenes with cranes. Heisei.
Details : right sleeve.
Top of right sleeve.
Bottom of right sleeve.
These gorgeous Hina dolls depict a scene from the imperial court from the Edo period. Showa
These dolls were a gift from the Japanese to the Dutch shipping company. Period unknown
See ! That's how elegant you can look wearing a kimono :)
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