An image of Man's bamboo undergarment

Unknown Artist

Man's bamboo undergarment

Not on display
Further information

Bamboo undergarments were worn to keep the wearer cool and dry. They also prevented the staining of outer garments that were often made of costly silks. Typically they are made of hollow pieces of bamboo sewn together with cotton to fashion a type of mesh garment. A diagonal design, with additional patterning at the cuffs and near the waist, enhance this piece. There are vents at the underarms and a button is attached at the neck, together with ties along the garment front.

This type of bamboo clothing has been dated to as early as the Ming dynasty (1368–1644). Frequently worn by Qing court officials under their heavy robes, these undergarments were particularly prevalent in southern China. Undergarments like this were also worn in especially humid climates.

Asian Art Department, AGNSW, September 2011

Place of origin
19th century
tubular bamboo beads threaded together with cotton, trimmed in light blue silk with button and ties
68.0 x 152.0 cm
Gift of Judith and Ken Rutherford 2009. Donated through the Australian Government Cultural Gifts Program
Accession number