Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Happi Coat with Boro Mending and Gingko Leaves

The second in a series of experiments with gingko leaves. This accompanies an earlier project, Japanese Boro Mending with Gingko Leaves, featuring a miniature kimono. Here a scaled-down, hand-sewn happi coat is the canvas. Happi coats, made of indigo or brown linen, date back to the Edo period (1603-1867) and usually featured a family crest. I find the leaves of one of the most ancient trees on the planet perfect for that purpose.

Front (click to enlarge)

Close-up, left side

Traditional Japanese sashiko stitching has been used to secure the leaves, which then become a form of boro mending, a traditional style of patching garments.

Close-up of sashiko stitching

Close-up of sashiko stitching

On the back of the coat, a few random little red leaves have been added as well.

Back (click to enlarge)

Close-up of left back

Close-up of right back

Red leaf

Close up of sashiko stitching

I will be posting pictures of both gingko leaf stitching projects after they age. My hope is that they will look even more like classic boro-mended garments at that point. To see boro mending on human-size clothing, from the practical to the extreme, click here: Boro.

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