Toy Len Goon's mud silk tunic and pant suit, Guangdong, ca. 1920

Contributed by Maine Historical Society

Toy Len Goon's mud silk tunic and pant suit, Guangdong, ca. 1920

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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.

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About This Item

  • Title: Toy Len Goon's mud silk tunic and pant suit, Guangdong, ca. 1920
  • Creator: Toy Len Goon
  • Creation Date: circa 1920
  • Subject Date: circa 1920
  • Locations:
    • Guangdong, China
    • Portland, Cumberland County, ME
  • Media: Silk, mud, cotton, tan Dioscorea Cirrhosa dye
  • Local Code: 2007.356.004 and 2007.356.005
  • Collection: Costume collection
  • Object Type: Physical Object

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For more information about this item, contact:

Maine Historical Society
485 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101
(207) 774-1822 x230

This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. No Permission is required to use the low-resolution watermarked image for educational use, or as allowed by the applicable copyright. For all other uses, permission is required.

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