This (indigo) blue cotton (ikat) (yukata_kimono) was purchased by Dr. Reem Tariq El Mutwalli in 2017 from an independent dealer in New York to enhance the collection of The Zay Initiative.
This is an indigo blue cotton and hemp ikat yukata_kimono with almost no lining except in selected areas which are lined with rectangular patches of similar cotton ikat fabric. A rectangular patch at the mid lower half of the underside has a double layer lining.
The first layer is created with the same ikat fabric, and the second layer is created with an indigo (satin) fabric. The position of this patch suggests that it served as a lining to prevent the yukata_kimono from being stained by any body fluids while sitting down especially considering that yukata_kimono was traditionally worn during the hot sweltering summer months.
Apart from this, the shoulder is lined in three panels. a narrow ivory satin fabric lines the middle – the part covering the back between the two shoulders and right beneath the neck – while two patches of indigo satin fabric cover the shoulders of the yukata_kimono.
A different indigo cotton ikat fabric with larger ikat patterns line the underside of the collar. A small tear next to the rectangular lining on the lower half is patched and mended.
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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