Restoration In Progress–Velcro Dreams & Kinsai Wishes

I’m posting about this delightful vintage furisode early because it arrived to me early and I simply cannot contain myself.

Pictured: CANNOT. BE. CONTAINED.

I picked this kimono up knowing damn well that it was going to be a restoration, but I gotta admit, guys, I was just smitten when I saw her. SMITTEN. Her stark contrast. The bright, sweet colours. I smashed that “place bid” button hard enough to warrant a keyboard replacement. Except that I’m lying, I did it on my phone, and nothing was broken. But seriously. Look at her.

I’m happy with the seller, even though it was pretty clear that they only vaguely understood what they had. They took very detailed pictures of the damage, so I went into this having a decent understanding of what I was getting myself into. I detailed the damage myself as part of an attempt to better document my restoration projects. (I have a disappointing lack of “before” images.)

Let’s have a look!

Pictured: “Okay but why though?”

LOL REMEMBER THE TITLE OF THIS POST? At some point in her journey, someone decided to install velcro to the lower skirt. They’re sewn on with a simple stitch and not glued on, so it could have been a lot worse. Partial credit to the installer, they’re arranged so that the panels overlap left over right–which is the correct way to wrap it. So… there’s that, I guess?

Some places have issues with the couching coming away. No problem. The threads are present and in good condition, and the silk fabric underneath it is intact.

We’ve got some popped seams. I think it’s just thread breakage. There’s a tiny bit of stress to the fabric on the seams at the armpits, but for the most part it’s strong and in good condition. I’ll be able to just touch these up rather than having to take it apart, I think.

Pictured: “…fuck.”

Okay so I technically knew about the kinsai (good leaf paint) at the bottom needing to be replaced. What I didn’t know was that most of the bamboo leaves and kiri were also outlined in kinsai. Kinsai that has worn off and needs replaced. -Deep breath- Welp. That’s gonna take awhile. There was SO MUCH subtly applied kinsai on this piece, you guys. This thing must have had the most decadent, gentle shimmer in the light when it was still intact. It would be a literal crime not to restore it.

STAINS. There’s little specks of this absolute bullshit on a lot of the lighter details. The good news is that there’s virtually no smell and the lining is in excellent condition. This isn’t mildew or water damage. The bad new is that I’m not sure what it is. Before COVID times, I was…known to touch suspicious stains with my tongue. (Do not do this.) You’d be surprised how easy it is to remove things like soy sauce if you know what it is. But I fully acknowledge the possiblity that I’ve put some Ye Olde bodily fluids in my mouth, and this really isn’t the year to fuck around with that, so I’m going in blind.

Overall, the shell is in great shape. The fabric shows no signs of fraying or shattering. There’s no fading on the black. The kamon are clear and clean. I have a lot of kinsai to replace, stains to remove, and seams to resew. Also the velcro…yeaaaahh, that, too.

6 thoughts on “Restoration In Progress–Velcro Dreams & Kinsai Wishes

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