This exceptional chirimen silk kimono is a labor of love by skilled artists, displaying threaded bobbins amid alternating golden yellow and black vertical stripes. The intricate process involved creating a white crepe silk kimono, followed by shibori dyeing to form a background color for the bobbins. Next, sections were dyed golden yellow, leaving the bobbin areas and a narrow white border untouched. Vertical black stripes were meticulously hand-stained onto the yellow background, resulting in the striking alternating stripes. The bobbins received detailed 3-D silk and metallic-thread embroidery, adding depth and decoration.
Traditionally, the silk-reel bobbin motif, associated with thread and weaving, symbolizes the Tanabata festival, celebrating the yearly reunion of the Herdsman (Altair) and Weaver Girl (Vega) stars. Legend tells of their love and their reunion on the seventh day of the seventh month after being separated by the Heavenly River (Milky Way). The bobbins on this kimono are emblematic of the Tanabata festival, and historically, weaving implements were used in Japan to appease vengeful spirits. This kimono beautifully encapsulates these cultural and symbolic elements. It measures 50 inches (127 cm) from sleeve-end to sleeve-end and stands at 62 inches (157 cm) in height.