Edo Period Coat Restoration: The Silk Lining

Project 9, part 10 – Conceptual Drift (Part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6, part 7, part 8, part 9 here)

A glimpse into the past!

Welcome back to the Edo period coat restoration project! This week I fully intended to attach the silk lining to my coat but… well…

The painting is lovely! The size though…

What the what?! ..sigh.

This is entirely my own fault. Anyone who has ever set aside a project for too long probably already knows exactly what happened. In the intervening year, there was some serious tectonic drift between my idea of what the lining would look like and the reality of what I had in my possession. This is to say, I somehow decided that this silk lining extended the entire length of the coat instead of just to below the sleeves. There’s no reason for me to have believed this – every women’s haori I own only has patterned silk in the upper half, and is plain silk below. Pretty much the only explanation besides the sheer length of time since I’d looked at it is that I invested a lot of energy in the idea that the patchwork on the quilted lining was no big deal because it would all be covered.

Creative commons image from Openverse, and also how I’m feeling right now. 😀

Clearly, there is not enough silk there to cover the bulk of my work. There are also some issues which might only be apparent in person. One is that there’s a serious mismatch between the now quite-impressive heft of the jacket and the delicacy of the silk. Another is the conceptual divergence between the jacket’s rusticity and the silk’s refinement. Without the quilting they seemed like a reasonable pairing, but with it it’s clear that they do not go together. This leads into another concern, which I’d already had in the back of my mind – if this jacket is made to be washable/worn in all weather, but it’s lined in silk…how does that work? ARGH.

One option, of course, would be to line it in a plainer, sturdier fabric. I also could source more silk to extend that lining, if I wanted. After a lot of cogitating on the issue, though, I decided to forgo additional lining altogether and just move forward with the project. The jacket is already quite bulky, and I don’t particularly want to add to that. I’ve also become a bit fond of my patchwork lining; maybe it’s Stockholm Syndrome from spending so much time with it, but I don’t feel the need to cover it up like I once did. I’m also eager to add the facings since they’re going to really spruce things up! So, we’re going to put the past behind us, and move on toward maybe, one day, finally, completing this jacket! 😀

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3 thoughts on “Edo Period Coat Restoration: The Silk Lining

  1. Your experience sounds vaguely familiar to one’s I had doing upholstery on bargain furniture early in our marriage. I learned it was better to power through and finish the project when possible.


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