It is not difficult to fold a kimono once you have learnt a few simple steps. We include a step-by-step diagram below, followed by an excellent video in which a Japanese lady demonstrates the technique slowly and clearly. You definitely do not need to understand what she says, but you will want to hear the very catchy Japanese soundtrack.

How to fold a kimono

How to fold a kimono

(Tip: at step 6, take hold of the seam rather than the edge of the kimono; this is demonstrated in the following video)

If you are trying this at home, at the final step you may want to fold the kimono once more than is shown in the video in order to end up with a more compact square shape. And of course you do not have to own a purpose-made bag to house the folded kimono.

A traditional Japanese kimono is an expensive item and – if it has been handed down through the generations – delicate. It needs to be stored carefully when not being worn. The owner first airs the kimono on a hanger, then folds and lays it gently in a rice paper wrapping, and finally stores it in a cool place away from sunlight, such as in a cedar chest.