#YU019 vintage yukata cotton Japanese landscapes

#YU019 vintage yukata cotton Japanese landscapes


This vintage Japanese cotton was originally chusen stencil dyed by hand for a young woman's summer yukata kimono, c1990s (the motifs have an earlier style to them, but the bokashi shaded background looks later). The stencil dyeing technique has similarities to screen printing, and produces a reversable fabric where each alternating section mirror images the next, so you can use either side of the fabric.  You can watch some of the chusen dyeing processes in this sequence of video clips on YouTube.


The fabric is a similar weight to patchwork cotton. This design of nostalgic rural landscapes set within fan paper shapes, with a dashed line resembling sashiko echoing the fan outline, seems influenced by the style of Japanese artist Serizawa. Like most yukata fabrics, where the patterns are arranged in a komon ('small pattern' all over style), the motifs are depicted both ways up, so some will seem upside down in the panel.  This is because yukata, like other kimono, are made without a shoulder seam, so the fabric designs are stencilled in both directions. The background is a deep indigo blue, not black as it may appear on some screens, with a bokashi shaded effect, making the blue appear mottled (shown more clearly in the detail photos).

Sold by the panel, approx 37cm wide x 100cm long. Multiple panels will be sent as one piece. The selvedges are designed to left on, so you can use the full width.

These yukata fabrics look great simply bordered with other materials, especially stripes, and quilted to make a scroll style wallhanging, or cut up to make wonderful patchworks with large scale prints.  They give an especially interesting twist to strip patchworks, like Log Cabin designs.  A current trend in Japan is to use them to make simple tops and dresses, with a centre front or centre back seam, making use of the mirror image effect of the design.  The nattow width makes them ideal for table runners too, leaving the selvedge on both sides.

Please note, these vintage fabrics are not repeatable and I have very limited quantities!

  • Before you use your fabric...

    • Traditional Japanese cotton kimono fabrics often shrink slightly on the length, so preshrink all yukata cottons before use, either by spraying with water and ironing dry (retains the starch) or washing at 40c and starching the fabric again before use.
    • Yukata cotton will become very soft when washed, but are heavily starched 'fresh from the bolt'.
    • Some darker colours may run, so please use colour catchers or a similar product when washing.
    • These are hand printed products and may have some areas where the dye has spread or blurred.
    • Because these are all vintage fabrics, there may be some slight patinas in lighter areas.

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