19. Item #86394
[Textile Samples]. Shimashima しましま. n.p., n.d. Mid-20th Century? [Textile Samples] Shimashima しましま. 29.8 X 24.5 cm album, tassel-bound with threads and brown and gray fabric-covered boards. Front cover has gray on ¾ of the front and brown on ¼. Title label is printed on the left side of the front board in silver. Shimashima しましま is the Japanese word for “stripes.” Even though the characters exist - 縞々- it is usually written in kana. Likely from the mid-20th century.
There are 8 pages of fabric samples, mounted 5 per page horizontally, hence 40 samples in all. Men's kimono fabric with stripes and a few floral patterns, in deep navy, brown and gray, some with touches of red. At first glance, the colors are somber and dark, but when viewed in the light, they have wonderfully subtle details, such as curving stripes made up of flowers, stripes spaced at uneven intervals, stripes over waves, and a variegated pattern that is overlaid with both stripes and florals. Some even have threads with a lovely reflective quality. The fabric is tightly woven and smooth to the touch with a sheen, like silk. It could indeed be silk, or the famous cotton woven fabric called Tōzan 唐棧, used to make Haori and Hakama (traditional coats and pants).