I want to show you a haori I got the last time we were in Japan. A haori is a short kimono, worn over another kimono, mostly for warmth. But originally they were worn by men, and used to protect a kimono from the elements.
This kimono is silk, and you're looking at the back of it in this photo. It would not be worn with an obi, which is the wide decorative belt.
I have only worn this once--most of the clothing in our collection is for view, not wearing.
What makes this haori especially amazing is the extremely detailed tie-dye technique the Japanese use called shibori. We all know about tie-dye with rubberbands to make hippie t-shirts, but the Japanese, not surprisingly, as a nation of overachievers, have to do it the hardest way possible (with the most amazing results): with a needle and thread.
Look at the detail of this haori, in the second photograph. It looks to me as if they made 10-11 little circle knots in each row! And there are 3 rows in each group...and you can count yourself (if you like) the number of groups across each row on this fabric. All I have to say is, "I love admiring this artistry, but I do not want to do it myself!"
If you do want to do it yourself, check out this page from Victory Patterns. It's got a great after picture, with lots of before shots showing the hard work involved in pre-dye stitching.
The final photo shows the oh-so-classy lining of the haori. Maybe when I get tired of looking at the back I'll swap it around and pull back one of the sides to show the lining, too.
We've been out in our yard a lot, and I despair of getting my sunflowers to bloom in our extremely shady yard (2 huge holly trees, a gigantic oak and a very large poplar). But it's great for all the textiles because just about the worst thing--besides the oil on your fingers--is light.
So...music? Pavement: Shady Lane