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Obi Sash Belts for Kimono
Obi sash belt types for japanese kimono, kimono sash and how to tie an obi belt, types of japanese obi and how to wear a kimono and an obi belt.


kimono sashContinued from How to Wear a Kimono ....


How to Tie an Obi Sash and Belt
Contrary to belief, the traditional obi belt is actually comprised of many belts. Below are instructions on how to tie each belt over the kimono.  

  1. After you have put on your kimono per the steps shown on the page How to Wear a Kimono.
  2. Pull up the kimono material so the length of the kimono is at the ankle. The length of the kimono is always adjusted which is why there are only a few lengths made by the manufacturer. 
  3. As you hold the extra material above your waist, tie the koshi-himo belt below the excess material. Cross the belt in the back and tie it in the front.
  4. Straighten out the excess material to the side so that the front and the back of the kimono are smooth.
  5. Bring down the excess material to cover the belt.
  6. Take the date-jime belt and wrap it around your waist covering the koshi-himo belt. Tie the date-jime belt in the front leaving the overlapping kimono fabric visible below. The excess kimono fabric should hang evenly below the belt so that the fabric is seen as shown in the picture above.


The traditional long obi can be very difficult to tie depending on the style of bow made. Many times, another person will tie the belt for you. There are many styles of different ties that can be made with the belt. Below is information on pre-tied obi belts and how to tie your own butterfly bow. The obi-jime is the last belt tied around the obi belt as shown in the picture above.


obiFormal Obi Belts
A woman's formal obi is usually 4 meters long and 60 centimeters in width. The width is folded in half and the obi is wrapped twice around the waist and then tied in the back. Formal obi belts are made of a brocade or tapestry weave. The more pattern, the more formal is the basic rule. Today, an obi completely covered in its entirety with woven or embroidered design are now normally worn by a bride.



obi sashCasual Obi Sash
Obi for casual wear may be as narrow as 10 centimeters or as wide as 30 centimeters. They are are usually made of satin, twill, chirimen, gauze weaves, cotton, nylon or wool. The main difference between the formal obi and the casual obi is the material. Casual obi are not made of silk and do not have the elaborate silk brocade embroidered patterns. Although called casual, many are not casual looking at all. It is worn both with the kimono and the summer kimono "yukata". 


kimono sash1) Koshi-Himo Sash
The koshi-himo belt is the first belt tied around the waist. The belt is available in a variety of styles, materials and some newer styles even have velcro. The koshi-himo belt shown here is made of tye-dyed silk.   



kimono sash2) Date-Jime Belt
The date-jime belt is the second belt tied around the kimono covering the first koshi-himo belt.



obi jime2) Obi - Jime
The obi-jimi is a braided cord tied on top of the obi. Because the obi-jime is visible, it comes in a variety of colors and the color is chosen to compliment the obi. 



obi beltButterfly Obi Belts
This obi is a pre-tied belt that gives the impression of the complicated tied obi but is very simple to put on. The tied bow shape is called cho cho for the bow resembles the butterfly, thus giving it the name butterfly obi. The belt consists of two pieces; the wide belt and the bow. The belt is 5 feet in length and 6 inches in width The belt is wrapped twice around the waist and tucked under. The bow has a wire hanger to insert into the wrapped around belt. You can find butterfly obi belts at JapaneseGifts.com.


Tie your Own Butterfly Obi
Below are instructions on how to tie a single tie butterfly obi by yourself with a long traditional belt. The finished bow will look as the yellow portion of the picture shown above (basically a single tied bow). To tie the bow yourself, the bow will be tied in the front and the obi belt will be twisted after it is done so the bow is in the back.  

  1. Place the long obi fabric around the waist with the ends toward the front. Position the obi fabric so that about 50 cm of the belt is in your left hand and wrap it once more around the waist.
  2. Overlap the ends of the obi toward the front so that it crosses over and tie the belt once with the right end over the left.
  3. You will now have one shorter end towards the top and one long end hanging down. Twist the tie so that the short end goes over your right shoulder.
  4. Fold the long bottom end in half or twice to get the size bow you want. This end is the actual right and left side of the bow. 
  5. To make the center tie that holds the bow together, take the end that is over your shoulder and wrap it around the center of your folded piece several times. Any excess portion of the belt should be hidden underneath.
  6. Turn the belt around toward your back.



mens obiMens Obi Belts
There are two main types of men's obi belts used with men's kimono and summer kimono (yukata). They are either called kaku or heko. 

kimono sash

The stiff belt as shown above and are called kaku obi. The kaku obi is about 3.5 inches in width and made of cotton. The soft obi sash is called a heko obi and is normally free flowing and made of tye-dyed fabrics.