Contributed by Maine Historical Society
Purchase a reproduction of this item on VintageMaineImages.com.
Toy Len Goon hand-stitched this outfit from "mud silk" fabric, so-called because during the finishing process the brown dyed woven silk is spread on the ground and the top surface is coated with Guangdong’s iron-rich Pearl River mud. This creates a glossy black surface on the fabric face, leaving a brown color on the reverse.
Mud silk fabric is particular to the South China Guangdong region where Toy Len Goon lived. Mud silk is a practical work fabric; a step below elite silks, but more expensive than the ordinary indigo blue cotton peasants typically wore.
Once in Portland, Toy Len Goon put away her Chinese clothes and dressed like her Woodfords Corner neighbors in American-style cotton clothes she made with a sewing machine.
About This Item
- Title: Toy Len Goon's mud silk tunic and pant suit, Guangdong, ca. 1920
- Creator: Goon, Toy Len
- Creation Date: circa 1920
- Subject Date: circa 1920
- Town: Portland
- County: Cumberland
- State: Guangdong, ME
- Media: Silk, mud, cotton, tan Dioscorea Cirrhosa dye
- Local Code: 2007.356.004 and 2007.356.005
- Object Type: Physical Object
Cross Reference Searches
Standardized Subject Headings
- Chinese Americans -- Maine -- Portland.
- Chinese Americans--Maine--Portland
- Chinese--United States
- Goon, Toy Len, 1892-1993.
- Immigrants--United States--Maine
- Laundries--Maine--Portland--Equipment and supplies
For more information about this item, contact:Maine Historical Society
485 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101
(207) 774-1822 x230
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