Juni-hitoe, or twelve layers of kimono, was favored in Heian society (794–1192). The elaborate presentation of a color palette was determined foremost by rank and, perhaps secondarily, by season. Color guidelines were based on the cycles of nature and changes in the landscape. The sumptuary laws of the Edo Period (1600–1867) standardized the number of layers to five, or go-hitoe.
Heian layers revealed their colors at the front opening, lower hem, and sleeve cuff . Sometimes a final outer robe or ceremonial apron called a mo (commonly white) was added to formalize the ensemble. I did not adhere to strict rules of color set for this kimono but chose four colors that I admired in Japanese kimono and “topped” it with off -white.
Reverse stockinette-stitch bands highlight the color changes, and short-rows shape the colorwork at the center front. Th e yarn blend of merino and linen combines matte and shine that emulates tone-on-tone woven work.