Okuso-zakkuri - Woven Hemp Waste Fiber Jacket


This is an okuso-zakkuri;

For those serious about Japanese folk textiles, the fiber called okuso is an important one to know about because it embodies everything relevant about rural life, primarily the concept of mottainai which cautions not to waste a thing.

It is also a prized cloth among connoisseurs of Japanese country textiles. 

Before rural Japanese could obtain cotton or silk, people made threads from tree and grass-bast fibers. Hemp was used for many kinds of clothing and household goods. In the process of making hemp threads, some waste naturally occurred. This waste was called "okuso" and was collected and then spun, much like cotton.

People called cloth woven from Okuso "Oksuo-fu" and called workwear made from this cloth "Okuso-zakkuri". The term "zakkuri" probably comes from the work "saki-ori" or rag-weave.

Okuso was used for workwear because the cloth became softer and softer with each washing.

This particular jacket has applied indigo dyed cotton sleeves and collar, both of which could have been easily been removed to be mended, reinforced or replaced.

The garment was purchased from a prominent textile collector, archivist, and gallerist. It has been exhibited before and is in excellent condition for its age without stains or damage. A near perfect collectible.

Okuso textiles are quite difficult to come by these days, I am happy to offer this here for your consideration. 

Early to mid 1900s
 49" wide; 35" long

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