I have been patiently waiting and staring at the beautiful vintage kimono silks in my collection.
The first doll in my Vintage Collection is made with a wool silk blend, featuring a Ryukyu Bingata inspired design. Side note to me or if you live here on island: There is a little place you can go to and make your own bingata onto fabric, shirt, etc. I just discovered their Facebook page and have now added it to my list of things to do while we live here. Anyway, this particular kimono is from the 70’s or early 80’s. Ryukyu are the chain of islands that make up Okinawa, though the particular island I live on and city in which I live is also named Okinawa. Authentic Ryukyu Bingata is extremely expensive. A friend of mine said that a very small piece goes for a few hundred dollars. The price goes up from there, depending on the expertise of the artist. But this inspired print is gorgeous, nonetheless, and I fell in love with it the moment I held it.
Since this is intended as a keepsake doll, I thought it was a perfect fit. The wool/silk blend added a little thickness to the fabric and I felt like it was a bit easier to work with than pure silk. The texture itself is still silky smooth with just a hint of that wool feel.
The entire kimono is hand stitched together. I wonder how long something like this would take. Such dedication in making a beautiful garment. I felt guilty as I selected a sleeve to disassemble and use. I wonder who wore this kimono. It is well taken care of, has it seen a lot over the decades?