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Showing posts from January 20, 2019

Japanese Fire-Fighter Jacket

Vintage Japanese fire-fighters' jackets are popular with thrift store fashionistas.  They show up on ebay direct from Japan as well as high-end resell shops.  This blog will help you find a real one verses a contemporary fake.  A fire-fighting outfit is calledhikeshi sashiko hanten in Japanese.  These outfits consist of several layers which were wetted down to protect the firemen from burns, bruises and flames.  These multi-layers also guarded the fireman from falling objects.

The jacket's stitching techniques and design (see close up photo below) are referred to as sashiko.  The designers laid several pieces of cotton cloth over one another and stitched them together, perhaps like an Amish kitchen rag rug. Each row of fabric had a rolled up layer of cotton, providing a reinforced cloth that almost had a knotted surface.

Cotton fabric was used because it quickly absorbed water and could be died with indigo.  The term hanten implies short garment.  These jackets did not have co…