Brocade Obi Silk Sample 12" x 12" Chocolate, Bronze + Pastels #174
This vintage Japanese brocade sample piece is from a famous Obi Silk fabric manufacturer in Kyoto. It is Dark Chocolate Brown Silk with bronze metallic, silver, pastel peach and purple. The 3 bronze and chocolate squares are so dark and shiny that they don't photograph well but in reality they're beautiful. These sample pieces were produced to demonstrate possible patterns that the obi workrooms might send into production. They would weave them one after another on a bolt of 10-12 each, then cut them apart to show the customer. So it's never been actually sewn or used other than for display. It's in perfect condition. It's a bit stiff and thick; layers of silk threads create body. On the back, many of the threads go completely through, which is a feature of the highest quality Nishijin Brocade. These brocades are usually mostly silk, real gold and silver leaf yarn, sometimes other natural fibers or rayon, depending on the look, feel, texture and shine needed for the design. This one appears to be be silk and rayon with metallic. Cost was no object for these fabrics and only the finest quality fibers were used.
They are produced in a region of Kyoto where Nishijin weaving originated over 1200 years ago. It is the only place in the world where this Nishiki Obi Brocade is made. It requires very specialized, tedious techniques to ensure the quality of Nishijin weaving. It may take 10 years to master this process. Because of the high quality of Nishijin silk, these splendid textiles can last a lifetime. Learn more here
We acquired this obi sample piece from a traditional kimono fabric wholesaler in Japan who has worked with these treasures since the 1940's.