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Apron, early 20th century

This is a Apron. It is dated early 20th century and we acquired it in 2017. Its medium is indigo-dyed cotton and its technique is patched and sewn. It is a part of the Textiles department.

In pre-industrial Japan, aprons were a basic element of everyday dress, worn by children and adults to protect one’s clothing, which was infrequently cleaned. Some form of apron was worn by workers of all sorts, from shop-keeping to field work to fishing. Like other work clothes, aprons were often made of repurposed cloth, as this one is. The base cloth of this apron is slightly unusual in that it is almost double the traditional Japanese loom width of about 13”. Hand-woven indigo dyed cotton patches are hand stitched to both sides of this apron, and the tie is also patched together from two types of cotton. In its simple utility, this apron embodies the Japanese mottainai, or waste nothing, aesthetic.

This object was purchased from SRI Partners LLC and fund: General Acquisitions Endowment. It is credited Museum purchase from General Acquisitions Endowment Fund.

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Its dimensions are

H x W: 68.6 × 59.7 cm (27 × 23 1/2 in.)

Cite this object as

Apron, early 20th century; indigo-dyed cotton; H x W: 68.6 × 59.7 cm (27 × 23 1/2 in.); Museum purchase from General Acquisitions Endowment Fund; 2017-15-2

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1108827541/ |title=Apron, early 20th century |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=23 June 2018 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>

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