Bebe Taian: Private Collection: 1960's Synthetic Juban

April 16, 2013

Private Collection: 1960's Synthetic Juban

This is a fairly old juban, likely made in the 1960s, featuring a bold traditional pattern of asa-no-ha. Asa-no-ha is a stylized hemp pattern, and it's one of my favourites!

The pattern is made with faux shibori; shibori which is printed instead of tied with threads before dyeing. I'm not sure if the stripes on the sleeves were intentional, or a product of running off the fabric on older machines. It's a blurry, uneven set of stripes which only appear there.

The collar, like many antiques and vintage pieces, is not to be folded in half. Instead, it is pre-sewn in the half-size, and is not intended to be covered with a haneri. The collar is meant to be seen as-is.

Surprisingly, there are few stains on the piece, and those that exist are well-hidden by the busy pattern and bright colours! But because it's an older synthetic, it's quite hot and heavy. I don't get to wear it very often because of this, even though it is one of my favourite pieces. When the weather drops to around 40F again, I'll bring it out.

The lining is surprisingly boring. It's a plain white rough cotton, similar to muslin. I suspect that the original maker also thought the exciting outer shell, while beautiful, was overwhelmingly warm... even for a lined juban. Japan is notoriously humid; the last thing anyone wants is more moisture and heat on them. I suppose I should be grateful that the maker didn't use silk, which is warmer.

I do need to dry-clean this one again. I made the mistake of wearing it without washing it first, just trying on a few outfits, and my skin broke out everywhere the fabric touched. Auugh the itchyness! I'm allergic to some types of chemicals, even ones in common laundry soap, so I'll look into washing this one sometime. Just not when I won't be wearing it for the next 3/4ths of the year! I'll let you know what happens to the fabric then!

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