Cranes as symbols in kimono design

Cranes as symbols in kimono design

The crane – white-feathered, soaring and graceful – is a popular motif on the Japanese kimono. Not only for its beauty, but for what it symbolises: faithfulness and longevity. Cranes mate for life and perform elaborate courtship dances to strengthen the...
What is a yukata?

What is a yukata?

A yukata is the most informal type of Japanese kimono. Made from light-weight unlined cotton and easier to wear than traditional kimonos, it is a popular casual garment for men and women during Japan’s hot, humid summers; it is commonly seen at festivals and hot...
How to fold a kimono

How to fold a kimono

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...
Silk cultivation: from moth to kimono

Silk cultivation: from moth to kimono

“With time and patience the mulberry leaf becomes a silk gown”. An elegant Chinese proverb, though in practice with a few tons of mulberry leaves, a large number of silkworms and the right conditions, a kimono’s worth of raw silk can be produced in a...
Mud-dyed silk makes highly prized kimonos

Mud-dyed silk makes highly prized kimonos

On a small island in southern Japan, a centuries-old method of dyeing kimono silk is still practised, and the essential ingredient is – mud. The silk is first stained 30 times with dye from the pulp of local plum trees, but only then is it ready to be submerged...
How to care for a silk kimono

How to care for a silk kimono

These tips on how to care for a silk kimono apply to modern rather than vintage kimonos. Ironing and crease removal • Iron with no steam, at a low temperature (silk, cool or delicate setting). Iron the garment inside out; to be safer, use a pressing cloth • Beware of...