"Feather Light" Donuki Kimono
This nearly antique kimono is indeed as light as a feather. Granted, some of the silk is fragile - after all it may be 100 years old - but most of it is sturdy and oh so lightweight it makes you marvel at the hand weaving skill required. And then a pattern of florals was stenciled on top, perhaps dyed with benihana (a flower that looks like a dandelion!).
A donuki is an under-kimono worn on top of the nagajuban, but under the outer kimono. It is made with two different fabrics, usually a lighter weight silk for the bodice and a more colorful one – often matching the over-kimono – around the wrist, sleeve openings, collar, and hem. The donuki would come in a set with the outer kimono, but over time the sets get separated.
The blue silk would have matched the over kimono and features very delicately drawn imagery at the hem. We think these are tortoise and cranes being hatched from eggs...?! There is some damage, so this is not for wearing but makes a fantastic display piece or a special addition to a kimono collection.
The Banker's Collection: The Banker was a successful American executive who worked internationally – in Europe, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia – appreciating the local cultures but drawn to traditional textiles. One day, while working in Indonesia, he was surprised to find an unusual Japanese kimono displayed in a showroom of a local textile producer – it incorporated design elements drawn from Indonesia’s batik traditions but was made for the Japanese market. It was in that shop, discussing the kimono with the shop owner, that he became – in his heart – a collector of kimono. On his next trip to Japan, he visited museums, shopped at local markets, and sought out source books on kimono. And when his career took him to Japan for work, kimono was the vehicle he used as his entry into studying Japanese culture. The Banker – who later became a teacher in Japan – purchased his collection over many years of work and travel, as his appreciation for Japanese textiles deepened along with his admiration of Japanese culture. He is happy to work with Kyoto Kimono to offer his collection to a clientele who can appreciate the value of each piece as much as he does.