chogori (Jacket)

About this object

History of use

Jackets “chogori” made of yellow fabric were worn by brides and young women, generally. If they were small like this one, the woman would have been very young, perhaps thirteen years of age. Brides wore yellow or green “chogori” and red skirts (“chima”). “Chogori” with relatively long sides were worn from 1900. Before that time they were shorter, and the sleeves were narrower. Generally, “chogori” of this type were worn by rich middle-class women. Those worn by upper-class women had additional coloured panels under the arms and were called “sam-hwae-jang”. Later, prostitutes also liked to wear “sam-hwae-jang”, as they were considered to be beautiful. Modern “chogori” would have a neck facing of paper covered with cotton, and an inner burgundy neck band corresponding to that on the outside. The upturned lower edge is characteristic of Korean “chogori”, and relates to other graceful curves favoured in Korea, such as the lines of roofs.

Iconographic meaning

The yellow colour indicates that this was worn by a bride.

Specific techniques

The fabric was dyed with natural dyes. The jacket is entirely hand-sewn, with all sewing invisible from the outside and all edges concealed. The layers were sewn together with long stitches that are tiny on the outer surface, and pasted together to hold the shape of the jacket. Korea.

Physical description

Short jacket of yellow fine silk with outer front facings and wrist bands made of burgundy silk, fastened with ties of red silk, doubled and sewn on the inside. The left side laps over the right side to tie. Ties are attached with coarse stitches of green thread. Lining and neck facing are fine white ramie.