Kawabaori

Textile

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Description

Reversible leather (deerskin or water buffalo leather imported from India) coats were worn by high- ranking Japanese firemen, merchants and carpenters in the Edo period.

These coats called kawabaori were made of thick smoked leather (fusube-gawa).

The design was made with a particular smoking process (inden) which seems to have been introduced to Japan from India in the Momoyama Period (1568-1603). This technique allowed to impart color the leather and to render it waterproof. Before the smoking dyeing process, rice paste was applied with a stencil onto the leather to create a pattern reserved in white on the brown smoked leather.


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