Mud Silk Jacket
Mud silk, or Jiāo-chou , originated in southwest China, and is known by its coloration of high gloss black on one side and a reddish-brown on the other side. Its name translates to “perfumed cloud clothing” and “clothing that make a a noise when the body moves,” referencing the comfort yet noisiness of this fabric.
Production is seasonal and utilizes dyes made of yam root and iron-rich mud. The fabric is dyed multiple times, sometimes more than thirty, to achieve the rich reddish-brown color. Then, one side is coated with local black mud and laid out in the sun to dry for 5-7 days. Next, the fabric would go through a process called calendaring where it get pressed by flat rocks with workers grinding the stones to flatten the surface thus achieving a shine.
Circa: first quarter 20th century
Condition: Very Good, one small repair on the pocket and some light staining
Dimensions: 64" sleeve to sleeve, 32" top to bottom
Inventory number: WR3991