Mk Neal wrote:I recently read a book about nineteenth century Japan that focused a lot on clothing. The robes then were designed to be actually taken apart at the seem for washing, then sewn together again. (clearly people were not washing their clothes between each wear.) I expect with a lined robed you could have a lingin of a fabric which could take harsher wash conditions that the more showy outer layer. Or maybe the other way around?
The idea of deconstructing certain garments for cleaning or for salvage to turn into new garments makes sense when the cloth itself is more precious than the work of sewing it. I wonder if it also helped the seam strength (and thus stress on the fabric) to have it refreshed regularly too.
Planned deconstruction is one of the theories behind the very rectangle/triangle patterning in early European clothing, especially work clothes like tunics - along with less lost to waste in initial construction, you have nice large panels you can mix and match.
I always think of the scene in Louisa May Alcott’s An Old-Fashioned Girl
, a favorite novel growing up, where the main character helps her once-rich but not-so-rich-now friend who is freaking out about the upcoming social season by deconstructing and reworking one of her silk gowns into a trendy style because the fabric still had “plenty of life” in it.