March 2, 2011

Three obijime

The last few items I purchased at Matsuri are three obijime. An obijime  is a silk cord that is both decorative and functional depending on how you wear it. It functions as a structural component of many types of musubi (obi bows). With a simple yukata tied with a hanhaba obi, you don't need it to be functional, it just looks really cool. I love the more interesting obijime for enhancing the look of an ensemble. Obijime are often hand woven and the best examples can be expensive. Sometimes you can buy obijime in a set with a matching obiage, also known as the obi bustle sash. An obiage looks just like a long silk scarf.

The obijime in the top of the photo is basic black flat weave that appears to be new. The middle one is a wonderful navy and white striped round cord that reminds me of those woven craft thingies you make in summer camp. (Lanyards? I don't know what they are called!) The third is a wonderful vintage obijime in navy and cream that has amazing detail.
Detail of the vintage navy and cream obijime

The intricate weaving and the subtle shading is really lovely and the dark section appears to be wrapped with super-fine silk threads in shades of dark blue and red. Overall, a wonderful addition to my collection.

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