Monday, May 9, 2016

Kimono Fabric

This is one of two vintage kimonos that my cousin V brought back from Japan for me a few months ago. She thought that I might be able to use the fabric. Thanks again, V!  I loved the fabric and was looking forward to making something with it.

Only thing . . . the kimono is hand sewn and so well made that I couldn't bring myself to take it apart. I found a tutorial online that shows a kimono being taken apart here. You can see the workmanship involved.


A few days ago I decided that it was time, and I grabbed my seam ripper.  The end-result fabric is exactly as described in the tutorial: 

"With most kimono the outer fabric will yield two very long full-width lengths that ran from the front of the kimono to the back hem, with a join down the centre back.  There will also be two medium full-width lengths from the sleeves.  Finally, there will be a number of narrower partial-width lengths that formed the collar.  You may also have two short, narrow pieces from the inner opening of the sleeves, though these may also be in a contrast fabric."


So cool yah! Now I know what these two 14-inch-wide bolts of fabric that I got at a garage sale are. They're kimono fabric! 

Here's a YouTube video I found of someone hand-sewing the beginnings of a kimono. Such amazing skill!

And then this video made my jaws drop. Unbelievable craftsmanship.

Not sure if this Google-translate link will work but the kimono in the video goes for only 429,800 yen (about $4,000)? Am I reading it right? Seems like it should cost way more.  Yuzen-Takuma


Kalin's Mommy said...

OMG, no wonder they are so expensive! Interesting video!

jalna said...

Mich, it totally blows my mind!

Anonymous said...

wow, that fabric designing is amazing!
Can't wait to see what you do with those fabrics!
I had bought a couple of those formal black haori(?) the kind with the mon on, and one day wore it with white jeans and tank to brunch in Waikiki. Boy, did I get some stares from the boburas!

Kay said...

So it's only $4,000? I agree that you'd think it would be much, much more expensive!

Susan said...

I have a new respect for "hand made".

Honolulu Aunty said...

WOW! The process of making a furisode kimono with yuzen techniques truly was mind-blowing! It gives me an even greater appreciation for these works of art from the finest craftsmen. Also makes me feel so proud of my heritage, neh?

My grandmother used to sew kimono for a living after her husband passed away before the war. Each tiny stitch was perfect and precise. I have a couple of the kimonos that she made tucked away but maybe they need to be touched again.

Maybe this is why I have always been on the lookout for old beautiful kimonos and hoard them like a squirrel hoards nuts.

Thanks so much for sharing. You have stirred my dormant creative juices.

Anonymous said...

j: how interesting my grandma sewed kimonos and when my mom was old enough she'd help. She said before every New Years grandma's clients would return their kimono so that she (and mom) could wash them. They had to totally deconstruct everything and wash it and put it back together. When we lived briefly with them, I always remember Grandma sitting on the straw floor, hand sewing, always sewing. Grandma stopped when her eyes got too bad. My mom when we came here took apart all her kimonos, like the beautiful brocade and silk ones and made throw pillow covers. She doesn't have one left, I was soooo aaarrghhh when I found out. Look forward to seeing the video. N

K and S said...


Cloudia said...

Wonderful insight into this ancient garment!

Leslie's pics said...

I'm excited to see what you're gonna make!!

jalna said...

V, you so styling! That combination sounds so nice.

Right, Kay? I feel like they're taking themselves short . . . but more people can enjoy it that way.

OMG Susan. It was so hard for me to rip out the stitching.

Aunty, it is so cool that you have kimonos that your grandma made! Geri found a really pretty one at the swap meet. I think it might've been a furisode. Now I wanna go to her house and take a look at it again.

N!! I read about how they needed to be deconstructed to be washed. Soooo interesesting!!

I think so too, Kat!

Cloudia, I've watched that video over and over!

Still thinking about it, Les!

Mark Shelby said...

I see that Kona already loves it! My cat used to lay down on things I was working with, and get in my But my German Shepard never did.

jalna said...

Mark, he always does that.

Mark Shelby said...

It's Kona's way of telling you that he loves you so much! Very cute!

Nippon Nin said...

Jalna, I can't wait to see your creation! I used to have the similar yellow striped interesting!