Vintage Japanese indigo kasuri pants, c. 1940's.
Side button closure and one front pocket.
Inseam 24.5" (with about an inch to let out)
Kasuri is a traditional textile from the Chikugo region in Japan that has been handed down over the generations. The word Kasuri is derived from the Japanese word, "kasureru", meaning "blurred" because of the innate tendency for kasuri designs to appear spashed and blurry. The technique is similar to that of ikat patterns, which originated around the world simultaneously with kasuri. Because the individual threads are dyed versus printed on one side of the fabric, the design is woven into the fabric, allowing it to appear on both sides.
It was invented, or so the legend says, by a young Japanese girl, Den Inoue, at the end of the Edo period. The twelve-year-old Den, who lived in Kurume, on the island of Kyushu, apparantly noticed some small white irregularities in her weaving and decided to turn the defect into a decorative device. She went on to perfect the technique, teaching it to a number of apprentice weavers who taught it to others in return. And from there the pattern grew..
Today the Kurume region remains the main centre for kasuri production in Japan and although there are only a few small workshops left they are highly thought of. These weavers, who still adhere to the old traditions, have been granted the status of 'Living National Treasures'.
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