Kimono History

Japanese Clothing

Kimono Fabric, Kimono Pattern & How to Make a Kimono

Kimono Patterns & Kimono Styles

How to Wear a Kimono

Japanese Obi & How to Tie an Obi Sash

Japanese Yukata - The Summer Kimono

Kimono Robe & Japanese Robes

How to wear a Kimono Robe and Japanese Robes

Men's Kimono

Hakama Pants

Japanese Shoes & Japanese Sandal Types 

Geta Sandals

Zori Sandals & Tatami Sandals

Tabi Socks

Children's Kimono

Wedding Kimono

Happi Coats & Japanese Festival Clothing

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Kimono Fabric, Kimono Pattern & How to Make a Kimono


Kimono Fabric History
Textiles are perhaps the greatest treasure in Japan's remarkable century old tradition of handicrafts. The Japanese techniques of weaving and dyeingkimono was originally borrowed from Korea and China. In the eighth century, tribute between Japan and her neighboring countries, Korea and China was presented in bolts of silk and brocade. Over the centuries, the Japanese treasured and studied those textile offerings and began producing their own. The japanese have developed it to a level rarely seen elsewhere. The unmatched skills and refined aesthetic have combined to produce some of Japan's finest treasures.

Since ancient times, textiles have been revered in Japan. According to legend, when the angry sun goddess plunged the world into darkness by hiding in a cave, other divinities enticed her out with a dance of blue and white textile banners.


kimonoHow to Make a Kimono
As the traditional textiles of Japan were made primarily for personal attire, what we know today as the kimono determined not only the construction of the weaves and the patterning of the fabric but also the width of the cloth itself. A single bolt, or "tan", of cloth measures approximately 9 meters in length and 30 centimeters in width. This is sufficient to make one kimono, whether for men or for women regardless of height and weight. Thus kimono fabrics as a rule are sold by the bolt and rarely by the meter.

Kimono Pattern
The kimono pattern consists of four main strips of fabric. Two patterns form the panels covering the body and two panels for the sleeves. Additional smaller strips form the narrow front panel and collar.

Customarily, woven patterns and dyed repeat patterns are considered informal. Formal kimono have free-style designs dyed over the whole surface or along the hem. Originally, the kimono were worn in multiple layers of different colors. Up to a dozen or more colorful layers of contrasting colored kimono would be worn. Today, the kimono is normally worn with a single layer on top of a slip style undergarment. 


The Kimono Pattern Parts

kimono pattern

Sodetsuke - kimono armhole
Miyatsukuchi - opening under the sleeve
Furi - sleeve below the armhole
Ushiromigoro - back main section
Fuki - hem gaurd
Yuki - sleeve length

Sode-guchi - sleeve opening
Sode - sleeve
Tamoto - sleeve pouch
Eri - collar
Doura - upper lining
Okumi - front inside panel
Maemigoro - front main panel
Susomawashi - lower lining
Tomoeri - over collar
Uraeri - inner collar 


kimono clothingThe Changing of the Kimono Fabric
The formal kimono and obi belts were traditionally made of silk, silk brocade, silk crepes such as cherimen and satin weaves such as rinzu. Due to production costs, limited availability of skilled weavers and craftsman and the consumers economic and "easy care" demand, the kimono industry is striving to capture the demands by producing kimono of "easy care" casual type fabric. Today, most formal kimono are made of rayon, cotton sateen, cotton, polyester and other synthetic fibers except for the traditional wedding kimono.