Indigo Kasuri Hippari Jacket

This is a cotton Indigo Hippari-style jacket with an E-gasuri (picture Ikat) design on the outside and an Indigo Ikat-striped lining on the inside. The beautiful and complex patterns of Japanese kasuri textiles were produced not on the loom, but by laboriously tying and dyeing bundles of warp and/or weft threads into predetermined patterns prior to weaving.

In this jacket, the cotton warp and weft threads are tied to produce the pattern you see, and then were dipped in Indigo many times and dyed, producing the unique hazy-line pattern that the Japanese call “Kasuri”. The areas that are “tied” resist the dye and form the pattern; then the threads are untied and woven on the loom, to produce what you see. Indigo-dyeing is also a labor-intensive process and this jacket was probably dyed between 20 and 30 times to produce this deep shade of Indigo. The pattern has a geometric design, offset by a softer pattern which might be a stylized pine tree or flower.

This jacket was probably worn by a young woman over the age of 13, or a very young adult, as yet unmarried, and living in a small, rural village.

Early 20th century. $650.