Artfully Adorned:

Surface Design in East Asian Costume

Curator: Dr. Linda Arthur

CTAHR Historic Costume Collection

Exhibit Location: Yokiyushi Room, Krauss Hall

Date: Dec. 7 (Mon) ~ Dec. 11 (Fri) 1998

The Exhibit:

This exhibit was mounted by the senior class on East Asian Cultures and Costumes (TxCl 416). The focus of this exhibition is to display the wide variety of surface design techniques used throughout East Asia. Some of the dominant methods used to embellish textiles include embroidery, applique, resist dye techniques, textile painting, couching, tie-dye, and the application of gold leaf.



Student Exhibitors:Valerie Garcia, K.B. Kim, Caprice Ribuca, Jeannelle Wat

DATE: 1890-1911

DONOR: Inez M. and David Benz

Accession #: A1990.03.01

Description: Silk dragon robe or ch段 fu, a semi-formal full-length coat and one of the primary garments during the Ch段ng dynasty. The garment is long and tight with horse-hoof cuffs and closes on the right with toggle buttons and loops.


DATE: Late Ch段ng dynasty:

DONOR: Oma Umbel

Accession #: A80.06.05.a/b

Description: Paired aprons. This is worn under the ch段-fu and is constructed of a straight panel with a pleated section to the left. The panels were arranged at the center front and back with pleated section flaring at the sides. Decoration was concentrated at the bottom, just enough to be seen from under the ch段-fu.

DATE: TheQing Dynasty / circa 1900

DONOR: Herbert Y.C. Choy

Accession #: A1986.11.01

Description: A Han woman's robe; it has large, wide sleeves and is entirely embroidered with different design motifs.



DATE: Mid- 20th century

DONOR: Lola Stone

Accession #: A1979.10.04a/b

Description: This is a traditional female wedding dress ensemble consisting of a red silk satin paneled skirt that is intricately detailed with embroidered dragons and phoenix accompanied with a black, high collared jacket. The designs are worked in gold-wrapped threads applied to the garment through couching. The dragons are stuffed in a method similar to trapunto.




DATE: 1980s

DONOR: Adriana Roewen

Accession #: A.1998.12.2

Description: The Yi people comprise one of China痴 56 ethnic minorities. With 6.5 million people, the Yi has numerous branches, each with its own clothing and cultural variations. They are well known for their variety of embroidery and applique techniques. Modern western braids and trims are used in contemporary Yi costume.

Student Exhibitor: Natalie Abbott




Student Exhibitors: Lance Chong, Chris Chu, YuKung Han, Maile Hoff, Sun Ryong Lim, Gi Sook So.

This display is a representation of Korean family in traditional Korean outfits. There are outfits for family members consisting of: grandfather, grandmother, father, mother, son, and daughter.

Most of the information and all of the photos in this section of the brochure were taken from Koreana痴 special issue on Hanbok, and this website:

1) A Little Something About Korean Outfits

The type of hanbok currently worn by Koreans can be divided into daily wear, ritual wear, and costumes for special purposes. Nowadays, it is mostly the older generation who wear hanbok as their daily apparel. Women wear chogori, a bolero-like blouse, chi知a, a skirt, a sok chogori (undershirt) under the chogori, kojaeng-i (bloomers) under the chi知a, and thick padded socks called poson.


  1. Chogori and Paji


The traditional male costume features a chogori top and paji, loose-fitting pants. The chogori appears to have been quite long in ancient times, but gradually has evolved. Changes in paji styles have reflected transformations in lifestyles. Early paji had narrow legs, but as Koreans gave up their nomadic hunting life, the legs grew wider. The murals from Koguryo tombs suggest that both men and women wore loose-fitting paji. The width or length of the pants and color may have indicated social status.

While women's paji gradually evolved into undergarments in the Shilla period, men continued to wear them, though there have been many changes in the structure of these garments. In recent times, men's trousers have been quite baggy, which facilitates the Korean custom of sitting on the floor.


b)Turumagi or Top弛

As revealed in Koguryo murals, the long overcoat or turumagi has been part of the Korean wardrobe since ancient times. These overgarments were originally worn to fend off the winter cold, but as time passed, they were included in a growing category of ceremonial attire, and later adapted for use by the general population. The overcoats were similar to chogori, but their tie-closures were higher on the chest and did not overlap with the closure of the chogori.

Turumagi were standard attire for royalty, courtiers and government officials and were worn by commoners on special occasions and for family rites. The white hemp top'o has long been a symbol of the gentleman-scholar and remains a matter of pride for the people of the Andong region where many old yangban families still live. The top'o is like the turumagi except it is cut more fully and is usually made of the finest hemp cloth from the Andong area.


c) Chogori

The modern woman's hanbok consists of a chogori, (a bolero-like blouse), and a ch'ima (or a wrap-type long skirt). The chogori is made up of two front panels, with sleeves extending from drop shoulders, a stand-up collar with a detachable collar strip, and front sashes. The chogori has undergone many changes over the centuries, especially in length, collar treatment and use of sashes. In ancient times, chogori hung to the hips or longer, had contrasting borders at the collar and sleeves, and were tied at the waist. Paintings from the mid-Choson period show women wearing chogori cut to the waist, but by the late Choson period, chogori stopped at the armpit and had longer front panels to cover the breasts. By the mid-20th century the chogori had lengthened somewhat.

d) Chima

The traditional Korean skirt is called ch'ima. It has a high, pleated waistband which is wrapped with long sashes above the chest. The result is a voluminous garment that provides the freedom of movement necessary for the traditional lifestyle which involves sitting on the floor and doing many household chores in a squatting position. The skirt also provides body coverage that retains body heat and modesty in Korea's traditional Confucian society.

e) Undergarments

Women's pants gradually evolved into bloomer-like undergarments in the Shilla period. Women wore a hybrid pant-skirt undergarment called son-gun or malgun, and after the Japanese invasions of the late sixteenth century women began to wear tansokkot, bloomers with front and back openings, from which the hakama, the voluminous ceremonial trousers worn by Japanese men, are thought to have derived. Women's undergarments were often layered. Petticoats, or sok ch'ima, made a woman's hanbok seem fuller. Since the petticoat often peeked through the folds of the hanbok in back or at the hem, women took special care to sew finer fabric or embroidery to the back and hems of their petticoats.


2) Items in the Korean exhibit:


Accession #: A82.06.01b

Garment Type: chogori; Bodice or upper body cover

Description: This modern 1976 garment was made in Korea for a student. Machine embroidery roundels carry the pattern found on a court lady痴 on a queen痴 traditional Chinese key pattern. In the center are two cranes and clouds which symbolize happiness. The placement of the three roundels are on each shoulder & one is on the center back.

Accession #: A82.06.01a

Garment Type: chima; Lower body cover or skirt

Description: Eight roundels are placed at the hem of the skirt

Accession #: Korea-15-6-FDM

Garment Type: jokki; Fitted vest that is buttoned down the front worn over the chogori.

Description: It has three pockets. Buttons are attached later according to the wearer痴 size. This is man痴 jokki. It is made of blue-green satin which is brocaded with a stylized Chinese character.

Accession #: Korea-15-7-FDM

Garment Type: magoja; Man痴 over-jacket with long sleeves which is worn over the chogori and jokki.

Description: It is made of blue-green satin which is brocaded with a stylized Chinese character.

Accession #: Korea-15-4-FDM

Garment Type: baji; Man痴 full trouser

Description: They are tied snugly at the ankles and waist and taper at the cuff. The width of the leg show wearer痴 status & trouser is cut with seven pieces similar to Chinese trousers.


Accession #: Korea-15-3-FDM: Donor: Oma Umbel

Garment Type: durumagi; topcoat

Description: A modern version of the Korean woman痴 top-coat. It is made of navy-blue satin which have Chinese character in hand has a white dong-jung, band of white fabric which has been stiffened with paper around the neck line.




Student Exhibitors: Sheryl Nakamura, Erin Nakano, Oanh Nguyen, Cynthia Yoon

The literal meaning of kimono is "things that are worn." Contemporarily, kimono is used to refer to the outer garment alone. During the 19th and early 20th centuries, the traditional kimono was a loosely cut outer garment with hanging sleeves and no ties of any kind. It is worn crossed left over right and secured in place by an obi or a sash. There were two main types of kimono of this era: the kosode (short-sleeved kimono) and the furisode (long-sleeved kimono). Surface design was very important in the construction and embellishment of the kimono.

Techniques for surface design include:

surihaku (gold or silver-leaf impressed on garment)

komon (small overall stenciled patterning)

kanoko (fine tie-dyeing)

yuzen dyeing (using a paste resist with hand painting)

shima (pattern striping)

kasuri or ikat (dyed yarns woven into a pattern)

shibori (tie-dyeing)

bingata (Okinawan dyeing technique using stencils)

Accession #: A1980.0101ab

Garment Type: kimono

Description: variation of a silk crepe, blue background asymmetrical border print with gold, brown, gray, blue, green, peach, tan leaves, flowers, and boats. Some French knot, satin stitch and long stitch embroidery upper part lined in red and lower part lined in kimono fabric.

Accession #: A1998.6.9b

Garment Type: tomesode - kimono

Description: 1920s 1930s wedding costume which was worn by Japanese immigrant in Honolulu. Black, unique suggests wealth, cranes and turtles in motif symbolize long-life. In bottom of kimono, inside and outside motif matches completely.

Accession #: A1979.0402

Garment Type: chu-furisode (formal wear) - kimono

Description: This furisode (long sleeved kimono) is a formal kimono which was probably worn by a young unmarried woman. The yuzen process (max resist) was used to make the purple square spotted area. The waves on the kimono were created by a paste stencil technique.

Accession #: A1979.04.01a

Garment Type: tomesode - kimono

Description: This tomesode (short-sleeved kimono) is a formal wear for a married lady with mon family crest. Color: black with gold 朴ale orange & white hem: yuzen couching stitch, gold threads

Accession #: A1981.02.01

Garment Type: kosode - kimono

Description: The "Perry Robe" is a traditional Japanese kosode, or short sleeved kimono dated back to 1825-1850. It was donated to the University of Hawaii Textiles and Clothing Costume Collection by Dr. and Mrs. Glenn Marders. The kimono was given to the Marders by an old friend who claimed that it was given to a member of her family at the time of Admiral Commodore Perry痴 arrival in Japan in 1854. The kimono is couched with gold wrapped threads and features a shochikubai design which is a combination of plum, pine and bamboo.



The Ainu are an aboriginal tribe that inhabits the northern parts of Hokkaido, Japan. The life of the Ainu has remained in a simple, primitive state, enabling them to retain their traditional forms and designs. Although they wore clothing made of "bird skin" and hide, the only traditional clothing still worn today are bark clothes. Among bark clothes, attush fabrics are most popular. The attush fabrics are obtained from the fibers of trees such as the elm. Ainu textiles are exclusively known for their yarn-dyed fabric on which various designs are made. These designs are made either by applique or embroidery.

This exhibit on surface designs displays the different techniques that were once used throughout East Asia. The Ainu, particularly of Hokkaido, Japan, used two main surface design techniques embroidery & applique.

Date: early 20th century; Donor: Robert Hemphilll

Accession #: A.1992. 05.01

Description: The Ainu Elm Bark robe shown consists of indigo-dyed cotton fabric appliqued to the elm bark and indigo bands embroidered using the chain stitch in red, white, and gray cotton threads.

Student exhibitors: DJ Cabalo, Keri Murakami

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