Bamboo beads strung together in diamond and hexagon patterns; edges in plain weave cotton
Overall: 56.5 x 56.5 cm (22 1/4 x 22 1/4 in.)
Educational Purchase Fund 1915.410
According to Nhat Quyen Nguyen, CMA graduate intern in textile conservation, this garment is made of at least 3,490 cut bamboo pieces.
This loose-fitting bamboo vest is a summer undershirt, made of an estimated 3,490 fine bamboo tubes. The overall structure of the vest is held together with cotton thread. Such vests were worn under an outer garment to allow the air to circulate and protect the outer garment from soilage, especially in the hot and humid climate of southern China. Textual evidence indicates that officials during the 1500s in Jiangnan wore bamboo vests from Jiangsu province, one of the production centers.
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