The type of clothing worn by farmers, craftspeople, and merchants was much less ornate compared to the upper classes. Although constructed of less expensive cloth, the garments of the vast majority of Japanese were no less beautiful in form and variety of decoration. Jackets, vest, pants, leggings, and shoes were skillfully engineered for mobility, climate, and economy, as well as for aesthetic qualities. Many of these types of garments are still in use today.
In the mid 15th century, cotton seeds were brought from India via China and successfully cultivated in Japan. Eventually, because of its superior warmth and durability, cotton clothing replaced garments made from hemp and paper. Unlike protein fibers, such as silk, vegetable fibers, like cotton, are difficult to dye into bright colors. As a result, the color palette of these textiles is much more subtle and muted, with a predominance of browns and indigo blues.