Part of an ensemble along with a (kimono) style robe (ZI2018.500744.1 ASIA).
This vibrant red women’s waistband was purchased by Dr. Reem Tariq El Mutwalli in 2018 from Kerry Taylor Auctions, London, to enhance the collection of The Zay Initiative. It is a part of an ensemble with a kimono style robe (ZI2018.500744.1 ASIA) that was made in Japan c. 1910 for the European market.
This beautiful waistband in scarlet red silk of (satin) weave is part of a kimono style robe ensemble made for the European market in c. early 20th century and comes heavily embellished. The embellishment resembles the robe with wisteria vines embroidered along the panel in double layered (satin_stitch) in shades of beige, ivory, and lavender silk floss threads. The longitudinal ends have a series of red (quadrille) threads hanging and knotted in (macrame) style. The piece is lined with a thin ivory satin fabric.
While the origin of certain techniques and methods in textiles like satin_stitch embroidery can be traced to China, and its spread across the world could be attributed to the Silk Road, other similar techniques and styles are believed to have originated independently in different regions of the world almost simultaneously in human history possibly from necessity and convenience.
Though The Zay Initiative is concerned mainly with the dress and adornment heritage of the Arab world, it does include in its collection articles from areas outside the region. These tend to be collected to illustrate specific shared elements and influences attesting that the Arab world never existed in a vacuum. It constantly drew, and continues to draw, inspiration and influences from the cultures it comes in contact with be it through trade or geopolitical circumstances, especially those countries within the old silk route.
Therefore, one cannot but draw parallels between many techniques used in such garments, such as (couching) and thread knotting techniques (macrame), or flat metal adornment (talli), that are quite similar to those found in different parts of the Arab region.
The kimono, in particular, displays similarities that can be drawn with the pattern of Arab women’s overgarment or the (thawb), common to the Gulf region, constructed of three uncut panels of broad clothes forming the central body panel and the side sleeve panels very similar in shape to the kimono.
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