Nō theater costume (karaori)
Unknown artist, Japanese
Nō theater costume (karaori), 18th Century
Ikat-dyed silk compound weave with supplementary continuous gold-leaf paper patterning wefts and supplementary discontinuous silk patterning weft floats
Center back length: 144.8 cm (57 inches)
Gift of Miss Lucy T. Aldrich 35.481
The karaori is the No theatrical costume used primarily for women’s roles, as well as for costuming sprites and young courtier-warriors. Floral motifs combined with specific weave structures define a karaori. The bamboo and peony motifs are created by supplementary discontinuous weft (horizontal) yarns and areas of long weft floats of glossy silk. The background is enriched by a combination of supplemental gold-leafed paper strips woven into warp (vertical) yarns that are ikat dyed (patterned by tie-dyeing before being woven).