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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The interconnection of culture and manufacture in Japanese Nō theater costume: Conservation of an Edo Period chōken
by Pironti, Elinor Dei Tos, M.A., Fashion Institute of Technology, State University of New York, 2016, 152; 10140949
Abstract (Summary)

The subject of this qualifying paper is an Edo Period Nō theater chōken. Upon receipt, this choken was in very poor condition. There were six types of damage that needed treatment.

First, there was extensive warp breakage along the full length of the shoulders and sleeve bottoms and one area of full loss to the base fabric, exposing wefts. Second, a couched metallic thread was used as an outline to five vase motifs and as patterning for four butterflies. All used ‘urushi,’ better known as Japanese lacquer, for an adhesive binding a metal foil its paper substrate. This couched thread had either loss to the metallic surface, to the combined metallic and lacquer surface, or was hanging, and at times twisted back upon itself. Third, there was a cut and finely woven, metallic coated paper used for some of the leaf and insect wing motifs that was tattered, unaligned, had loss to its metallic surface, and was not secure to the base fabric. Fourth, there were areas of weft breakage exposing warps. Fifth, the six exposed selvages that run the full length of the two sleeves and one body panel all needed to be strengthened. Sixth, there was one 3 by 4 inch area in the lower back of the body panel which had complete fabric loss.

Untreated areas were: areas of warp distortion in the front body panel; a few loose embroidery threads throughout the five floral/vase motifs; and a small amount of loss due to insect infestation.

Research was done and methods developed in order to find treatment techniques for the lacquer based metallic thread, the cut and woven paper motifs, and the extensive warp breakage extending along the shoulders and sleeve bottoms.

Due to the difficulty of finding English equivalents to Japanese textile terminology, I included a Comparative Glossary that I hope will be useful to other researchers in this field.

This project proved to be challenging, but in the end, very rewarding with a new body of knowledge concerning materials used in this type of cultural object.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Montegut, Denyse
Commitee: Denny, Joyce
School: Fashion Institute of Technology, State University of New York
Department: Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, Museum Practice
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: MAI 55/06M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Fashion, Asian Studies, Art history, Theater History, Textile Research
Keywords: Asian lacquer, Choken, Costume, Gauze weave, Japan, Japanese textiles, Leno weave, Metallic thread, No theater, Textile conservation, Urushi, Woven paper applique
Publication Number: 10140949
ISBN: 978-1-339-96344-0
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