Efficiently cut from a single bolt of cloth, kimono have always been remarkably sustainable, producing minimal waste. The triptych by Chikanobu Toyohara (1838-1912) contains a series of cartouches (top) that show patterns for cutting narrow strips of fabric into the variously sized panels that will be sewn together into kimonos.
This wonderful triptych is one where one could get lost just admiring every single detail it showcases. From the carpet, a very innovative and modern addition to any room for the time when this print was made, to a playful cat, the bustling activity shown here is neverending. A wooden ruler is being used to measure the length of a cloth, women use needles to sew and we even have a couple of women ironing.
Sewing Scene by Chikanobu Toyohara (c. 1890)
In this second triptych also by Chikanobu the different tools used for crafting Kimono can be seen with more detail. The pot filled with hot coals to iron the Kimono, the Japanese style scissors for cutting the cloth and the sewing chest full of everything needed to craft all these wonders of fashion.