Well. Yesterday, when I said "I wanna make kimono" I meant more 'Japanese clothing in general, probably a yukata or haori to start' not 'full-blown insane formal uchikake with the elaborate lining'. I didn't think my readers would know what I meant by all those terms, and I don't know why I was thinking that way, 'cause my readers are a smart bunch.
So, to quickly summarize, I am told 'kimono' is sort of the Japanese equivalent of clothing and generally means 'something you put on so you don't get cold or arrested'. By that definition, yes. I wanna make me some kickass kimono.
This is a formal uchikake, which would likely be worn by a woman for her wedding, a state affair, or something else seriously big-deal formal.
Those sleeves? Called furisode, which means 'flutter sleeves' or possibly 'butterfly sleeves'. I've seen it defined both ways. Totally impractical. These are usually made with silk, fully lined (and when I say lined, I mean put together in such a way all raw seams are sealed inside and you can wear them inside out - clueless westerners often DO wear them inside out). Maybe, twenty years from now, when I'm really skilled, I'll make one of these. If someone pays me enough. 'Cause I've sure as hell got nowhere to wear one. Here's another 'cause they really are amazing.
Truly amazing. Every possible form of weaving, painting, dyeing, embroidery, and other surface decoration you can possibly think of has been used to make these over the last couple thousand years.
The tsukesage is the less formal version:
Also could be called the old lady version (shorter sleeves, less elaborate decoration) which would be appropriate for me. I aspire to these. If we move somewhere really north (and cold), I may make one of these of silk (lining too) with wool batting between the two layers. Kimono used to be quilted for cold weather. I bet they're damn warm; it'd be like wearing a blanket. I'm already imagining wearing something like this (possibly more subtle, but it is ME we're talking about) to watch Friday night football games in the freezing cold.
These days, the short overcoat/jacket shorter kimono is known as a haori. This is sort of like our version of putting on a skirt to look kind of dressy. Usually when you see Japanese folk on TV or in books wearing kimono, it's one of these.
If I ever get good enough to be making kimono out of silk, I'll probably wind up making these. Sometimes they're made of cotton, and I'm considering rayon as a fallback. (Hey. They made kimono out of bamboo and birch bark, they better not quibble over some rayon.)
This is a yukata, which is the everyday wear of traditional Japan. This is what you put on to go hang at your best friend's house, or whatever. Our version would be slacks (jeans) and a sweater or casually nice shirt. Often they were dyed with indigo.
The short version of this is the hanten, which I have heard described as the t-shirt of Japan:
These are often made of cotton, and either half-lined or not lined. Likely they will be my first endeavor. I'll be working with cotton.
And the male version of the everyday kimono is known as the nagajuban (which I just looked up on another web site and it told me nagajuban or juban are undershirt kimono, so you be the judge). Formal male outfits are known as kamishimo, but I don't think this one is formal enough to be part of one.
Generally, men's clothing is darker, less elaborate, and with shorter sleeves than women's clothing.
For those of you remotely familiar with Japanese culture (I'm not claiming to be fluent at the language, the culture, the symbolism, or much of anything; I just like their clothing), you know they have a specific word for EVERYTHING. Short cotton kimono for spring, long quilted kimono for winter, 'undershirt' kimono, girls' kimono, old lady kimono, all have their own separate terms and names. I'm only hitting the high points because I don't want to be here all day, and again, I'm not fluent. I'm sure I've generalized too much already and one of the uchikake is really a kosode, or whatever. There is a lovely dictionary here you can read over, for educational purposes. (And you'll really see what I mean by 'a name for everything'.) At any rate, you got to look at some purty pictures this morning and read more of my insane babbling.
So, for now, my plan hasn't really altered from what it was: Buy some cotton/rayon dyes and scarves, and experiment with batik printing on them for Christmas and possible Etsy shop sale. That really was a plan before last night's brain wave (which I really did have while writing this last blog post and being smacked in the face with my other posts about human creativity). All that has changed is the end goal. Before, it was to make a buck (never a bad thing). Now... NOW, I wanna MAKE COOL STUFF. Which of course speaks to the human soul, from what I've seen.
Anyone got ideas on symbolism for a kamon? I think the family needs one. German/Irish heritage folks with a Japanese family crest. Yup. Sounds like my house.