Historical Development of Kimono Patterns

The Kyoto Museum of Traditional Crafts, FUREAIKAN

Historical development of Kimono patterns
The basic design and pattern layout of the modern kimono derives from the design of kosode (short-sleeved kimono) popular during Momoyama and Edo periods.
Kosode of Momoyama period
The completion of the shape and design of kosode kimono took place in Momoyama period. This Noh costume is a typical example of kosode design and pattern layout of that time.
All the patterns are created by exquisite technique of Nishijin-ori weaving.
Kanbun era patterns (1661-1673)
In Edo period, dynamic composition of patterns arranged in semicircle from right shoulder to the left part of kimono hem appeared. They were named “Kanbun era patterns” and were usually finished with shibori dyeing technique or embroidery.

This is a tie-dye kimono. Can you believe that each tiny dot was tied by hands of skilled artisans?

The golden maple leaves are embroidered.

Genroku era patterns (1688-1704)
The features of Genroku era patterns are less prominent than those of Kanbun era, but as yuzen dyeing rose in popularity, they became larger and bolder.

Outside & inside of shoji, a paper sliding door. The shadow of flowers through the paper sliding door is also designed.

Contemporary patterns
Contemporary kimono are decorated not only with traditional natural motifs, but also with modern geometric or abstract patterns.
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