Kimono Flea Market ICHIROYA's News Letter No.658



Danny Choo | Flickr

Dear Newsletter readers,

This is Mari at Ichiroya.
By the time you read this newsletter, we are about ending up our annual summer holidays, "Obon Yasumi". "Obon" is just like "Day of the dead". Generally speaking, "Obon" is about 8/13-17, the period of time we believe that spirits of dead come back to this world. It is
common that all the family members gather, visit graves of our ancestors and pray. We welcome our ancestors at home by having parties. We also have "Bon Odori"(Obon dance party) in each region. It is popular to wear Yukata to dance "Bon Odori".
We have many customers in Hawaii who wear Yukata for "Bon Odori" in their community.
We will be back with fully charged energy after our "Obon Yasumi"!


It has been while since we talked about how to distinguish different types of fabrics. Mitsue talked about silk. Then, Mei talked about wool and cellulose.
Now, let's talk about how to distinguish those fibers sach as cotton, asa (ramie)
and 'Jinken'(rayon) which are made from cellulose.
They all burn just like paper.
*The fire spreads.
*We can crash cinders.

Cotton and asa (ramie) are short fibers.
They were made by twisting 1mm to 5mm short fibers. On the other hand, 'Jinken'(rayon) has both long and short type fibers. However, it is more
common to use long fibers to recreate smooth texture like silk. You can
see the difference by looking them with microscope.

Like I mentioned earlier, cotton and asa (ramie) are both short fibers.
It is common that asa (ramie) is relatively longer fiber and smooth on its
surface. Cotton is twisted shorter fibers and fluffy.
'Jinken'(rayon) has smoother surface than those two which gives artificial













The top three images are asa (ramie).
The bottom three images are cotton.
Can you see the difference in between the smooth and fluffy surface?

However, the asa (ramie) which was machine spun is difficult to distinguish.
The following is the image of "Yaeyama Koufu"(Yaeyama mixed weave).
The weft is cotton, warp is machine spun asa (ramie).
It is hard to recognize the difference in between them.


"Yaeyama Koufu"(Yaeyama mixed weave)
     Weft: cotton, Warp: machine spun asa (ramie)

'Jinken'(rayon), which is formed by longer fiber, is easier to distinguish.
The following is an enlarged image of a vintage transparent Ro summer kimono.


 'Jinken'(rayon)  x50

You can see the sleek and artificial texture of the thread.
Actually, the sleek texture is easier to see with the actual textile.

However, there are variety of textiles sach as "Yaeyama Koshoku" which is
blend of cotton and asa (ramie), cotton which is woven with asa (ramie) like
very thin threads.
In conclusion, we need to judge the difference in between asa (ramie),
cotton and 'Jinken'(rayon) as a whole by their textures, checking threads with microscope and so on.

(Continued to next newsletter)