Navy yukata with hibiscus blossom

This vintage yukata from Yamatoku is very practical and wearable.

Navy yukata with red and green flowersThis is one of my new yukatas – navy cotton with hibiscus blossom (at least, I think it’s hibiscus – it might be pawlonia).The description lists it simply as ‘hana’ – flower.

It’s from Yamatoku, but I’m not sure how old it is – probably fairly modern (1960s-1990s?). Yamatoku no longer lists age on its descriptions for some reason. But it is hand-painted aizome, much to my surprise, because when I bought it, I assumed it was a print.

close upThis may be an unmarried woman’s yukata, judging from the brightness of the print, curve of the sleeve and the narrowness of back (only 18.5in).  On the other hand, it may be a simple ‘Genroku’ sleeve. But I find this sleeve shape more attractive than the modern married woman’s sleeve in any case, so I will be leaving it as is. It’s also not too narrow – in fact, surprisingly comfortable. I was expecting to have to extend it at the shoulders.

I have been wearing this yukata a lot since it arrived and I’ve also been sleeping in it. The dark and busy colouring doesn’t show the dirt, and the short sleeves stay out of the way, so it’s useful for working.

The cotton is well-washed and worn, but at 590g, it’s not my thinnnest yukata and in our 30-plus summer heat, I may well switch to something a bit thinner today.

Currently, it’s sashed with a bit of shibori silk I made, I will be making an obi for it from a busy print cotton, I think, which should go well with this lively pattern.

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