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What is this?

Vest which opens at the front; fronts connected to back by two twisted strands on each side. Hexagonal mesh of plaited recycled paper; handwriting on the paper reads as irregular black spots.

Why is this in our collection?

Woven textiles made from paper originated in 16th century Japan, where these paper cloths (shifu in Japanese) were most likely developed by the impoverished rural population for lack of other materials. With few raw materials available, farmers originally cut the pages of ancient account books in order to turn them into shifu weaves. The ink writing on the paper also remained visible on the finished fabric, leaving an interesting speckled pattern. Soon, this cloth attained a more prominent place in society as samurai refined the technique by means of sophisticated and elaborate folding, cutting, and spinning processes, in which the finest threads could be manufactured and woven into noble cloths. These paper... more

See more stuff from the Textiles department.

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If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=http://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18732721/ |title=Sweat Protector (koyori Ase-hajiki), 1850–60 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=20 December 2014 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>

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