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Kosode (Japanese Robe) with Painted and Embroidered Decoration

Mid 19th century - Late 19th century
Painted and embroidered silk

68 in. (172.72 cm)

Bryn Mawr College
Accession Number: 2014.4.29
Geography: Asia, Japan
Classification: Clothing and Adornments; Clothing
Culture/Nationality: Japanese

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This object has the following keywords:
  • embroidery - Refers to works characterized by a pattern or design executed in stitches using thread or fine wire. The designs are typically executed on textiles, but leather, paper, or another media may also be used; the designs may be intended to be framed, or to decorate apparel, bed linens, furniture coverings, pillows, altar cloths, ceremonial hangings, or other items.
  • kimonos - Loose, wide-sleeved garments fastened around the waist with an obi or broad sash, traditionally worn by Japanese men and women.
  • open robes - Refers to 18th- and 19th-century full-length gowns with overskirt split in front to reveal an ornamental petticoat or underskirt beneath. In two popular variations, the back may be fitted in the "robe à l'anglaise" style or loose in the "robe à la française" style.
  • silk - A fine, lustrous, natural fiber obtained from the catepillar cocoons of silk moths, such as the domesticated Bombyx mori. Silkworm silk is composed of a heavy and light chain of core proteins called fibroins, which are coated by sericin, a collection of sticky, glue-like proteins. Microscopically, raw silk appears as two strands that are held together with sericin protein. According to legend, silk was discovered by Chinese Empress Si-Ling-Shi when a cocoon fell in her tea. China maintained a monopoly on the production of silk fabric for almost 3,000 years.The worms were first cultivated in Japan about 195 CE and in Europe about 555 CE.

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<ref name=BMC>cite web |url= |title=Kosode (Japanese Robe) with Painted and Embroidered Decoration |author=Bryn Mawr College Library Special Collections |accessdate=2/2/2023 |publisher=Bryn Mawr College</ref>

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