What’s The Damage? Antique Hikifurisode–Mysterious Bleaching

So here I am (rockyoulikeahurricaaaane) and you know it took every ounce of my being not to just use the word “discharge” in that title and then sit here and giggle like a goddamn nine year old about it. I mean, it’s technically still correct. The primary issue with this piece is that the dye has been discharged randomly throughout the body. That I get to giggle about it like a pervert is just bonus.

I don’t actually love this piece, and when she’s fixed she’ll go live somewhere else–meaning I’ll randomly dump it on someone, I don’t sell shit. This whole purchase can be summed up as being another example of me just needing to see something up close because the seller pics were just good enough to be intriguing and just bad enough to be actually pretty useless for determining condition. Not that I think anyone was trying to lie about anything–I had a delightful transaction. But for some reason, people tend to look at a busy kimono full of flaws and go IT’S DEFINITELY IN MINT CONDITION. Which, to be fair, is not at all what this listing said, it just also said absolutely nothing about the dye issues. For the record, here’s the primary seller pics.

So let’s have a peeky peek, shall we? Behold this long-ass, beautiful blue sassy bitch:

And when I say long-ass, I really mean it. I gave her a hard side-eye for possible geisha shit for a split second, but the proportions aren’t quite right for that. From shoulder to hem, she measures 70in/177cm long. Hold up…what’s that down at the hem…? *GASP*

It’s Linda! She must have seen the boat and got hungry. Well, unfortunately there are no unwitting beachgoers to gnaw on, so she’s gonna help me with my evaluation today!

We’ll begin with the damage to the hem. Typically when I see color discharge on the hem, it’s because it’s been dragged through something that silk doesn’t like in general. Usually this kind of discharge is accompanied by fabric damage. But I find that the structural integrity of the fabric is completely uncompromised. Show ’em, Linda.

Fucking weird, right? The patterning of the discharge made me pretty worried about imminent sad banana rip–shattering. But actually, that fabric is 100% stable. Nothing wrong with it at all. I gave it a serious goddamn stress test, too.

But this shit appears literally everywhere, all over the body.

This one is throwing me for a loop, too. Because I’m actually not quite sure what could have caused it. The spots are not reactive. I put water on them, nothing happens. Vinegar, isopropyl alcohol, acetone–nothing disturbs them or makes a mark like there’s any kind of solvent left behind. There’s nothing there. It’s just the dye is gone. Nani the fuck?

I think the only thing I can do about this is mix some pigment to match the body color and see if it takes to those spots correctly. So basically, it is my solemn duty to fuck around and find out. The worst part is that I had to point all that out myself.

Oi, Linda. Get the fuck out of there and do your job.

Pictured: Srs Business.

This kimono was listed as being in good condition, and I actually have to agree. For a US purchase, my chore list is rather small. We’ve got some pretty basic staining, of course; Linda, if you’ll point those out?

Nothing either of us would call “catastrophic.”

There’s kinsai (gold paint) damage because of fucking course there is. This is an expectation, actually. Kinsai was not applied in such a way that I would call it “permanent” in these eras. And as such, here we are.

It’s not too bad which actually confounds me further. Just what did this kimono come into contact with where it executed splotches of color with extreme prejudice, but the kinsai wore away in the same way it would from just time? At any rate, I think I can probably just patch it rather than have to scrape any of it off. I have to do that sometimes when the original kinsai recipe is very stiff–I’m having to do that for this piece. It’s obnoxious as fuck.

The embroidery is mostly perfect. I would call it delicious. Juicy. Plump. Ended up in my mouth more than once. I’m not kidding or sorry. Fucking look at it.

But, since this is the Silk & Bones blog and not somewhere that isn’t an absolute shitshow, you know there’s gonna be couching repairs.

Pictured: Misery

Thank you, Linda.

And then there’s the tailoring. Pretty much if a kimono exists, I’m going to need to dick around with the sleeves. When I don’t have to, it’s a Christmas-goddamn-miracle. But someone, at some point, long before me, decided to mash these sleeves into a sewing machine. Please for the love of, I don’t know fucking pick something, don’t put antique silk kimono into a goddamn sewing machine. Because now I have to pick this with the hope that the silk beneath it isn’t ground meat now.

So as you can see, the body portion is folded awkwardly over the sleeve portion, and that’s because someone flipped it inside out and mashed it into a goddamn sewing machine. Then you see that we’ve got the stitching trailed off on the sleeve there. This appears to have been done because they saw that the lining was coming apart from the sleeve. So their solution to this, rather than to replace the failed running stitch with like four minutes of work, they mashed it into a fucking sewing machine.

Ugh. Give me a hole in the seam. Give me fucky threads. Give me a bad stitch job. Don’t fucking jam an antique kimono into a goddamn sewing machine or I’ll fucking stab you.

Pictured: Try me. 💜

As a last note, the kamon are slightly discolored which is just oh so fucking shocking compared to the other damages, you know. But look at the size of these Japanese Dominoes Pizza I’m actually not sure what the hell this one is called, there’s a ton of kamon (family crest) that are near identical to this.

The point is, she big! But even though she’s big, the heavily stenciled nature of the design and the overall color of the momi (red lining) makes me think probably 1930’s, so I would place this one in the early Showa Era. I’ll do a full rundown of motifs when she’s fixed.

That’s about it for this one.

Join me next time where I’ll be visiting some suspected internment shenanigans on a few things. It will get quite…fishy…in here for a bit, and very soon I fucking swear I’ll have a black pigment replacement tutorial. While you’re here, have a peek at the poll I have up for a little while longer if you’re interested.


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