More Formal Japanese Garb

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March 2011

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A suikan is a slightly more formal piece of Japanese clothing, a sort of over-robe. It has very large sleeves that are only attached for a few inches behind the shoulder. The body is a single-panel of fabric wide, and the sides of the body are left open to display whatever clothing you're wearing underneath.

This one is made from soft green linen. The solid color and simple fabric mark this one as being either slightly less formal, or formal for slightly lower class of courtier.

There's a frog closure at the neck. I made it from the same fabric as everything else, and used a decorative knot I found in a book.


The kikutoji are mostly decorative, though the theoretically help reinforce stressful points in the clothing. Mine are made from silk yarn. They really are just pom-poms that I've ironed flat. I'll probably have to take them off when I launder the suikan or they'll totally fuzz out.


The lacing is 14 feet out of braid 95. It's a 17-strand twill braid made with cotton embroidery floss. It passes through 38 button holes sewn into the cuff of each sleeve. 76 button holes is a large number of button holes.



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