- A vintage, cotton yukata kimono, with indigo stripes and checks.
- Hand washable - wash very gently at 30C, use a colour detergent, not one for whites, do not rub, wring or leave to soak. Roll in a towel to remove excess water, then hang to dry.. There may be a little dye loss and run each wash, as it is hand printed, so this is to be expected.
- Made and bought in Japan
- If shown with a sash, sash not included, shown just for display purposes.
- Yukata kimono. Yukata are unlined, cotton kimonos, worn as ultra-casual kimonos at summer festivals, at home and as bath robes.
- A hitoe (unlined) kimono. Yukata kimonos are sometimes made with a reinforcement panel inside, to strengthen the area where heels will rub when sitting in seiza (kneeling) position.
Sleeve end to sleeve end 132cm
Sleeve seam to sleeve seam 66cm
Sleeve depth 49cm
Japanese clothing is usually of adjustable fit, being mostly wrap-over or tie-to-fit items, so most garments fit a range of sizes. Because of this (and only really knowing my own size anyway) I can't really advise anyone on the fit. Please judge fit from the measurements given. Measure from centre back of neck, along shoulder and down the arm to the wrist, then double that and compare it with the sleeve end measurement to judge sleeve length. If shown modelled, the woman in the photos is 125 cm from wrist to wrist.
Yukata cleaning info (courtesy of japanobjects.com): There are a few tricks to take care of your yukata. The first is a preventative measure. To avoid staining easy to stain areas, like under the arms, you can sew a protective layer of material on the inside of the yukata. This will catch the sweat before it reaches the outside of the garment. Simpler still, you can wear a V-necked short-sleeved T-shirt underneath, which will ensure you keep the yukata away from your skin.
If you have got sweat on the yukata, place the stained part on top of a dry towel and dab away the stain using a moist wet cloth. Dabbing away stains, like tea stains, is the best way to reduce the risk of fading through overwashing.
Another option is to use an old toothbrush and a little detergent to scrub at the stain to remove it. If washing via machine is necessary, fold the yukata into a laundry net and machine wash on a hand-wash cycle; don't use the spin cycle. Once out of the machine, roll the yukata into a towel to squeeze out the excess water before leaving it to hang dry.
Note that yukata do tend to fade with frequent washing, older, hand printed ones, in particular those with indigo dye, can colour run a bit.
Indigo & White Yukata Kimono
Sizing: Japanese clothing is usually of adjustable fit, being mostly wrap-over or tie-to-fit items, so most garments fit a range of sizes. Because of this (and only really knowing my own size anyway) I can't really advise anyone on the fit. Please judge fit from the measurements given. Measure from centre back of neck, along shoulder and down the arm to the wrist, then double that and compare it with the sleeve end measurement to judge sleeve length. If shown modelled, the woman in the photos is 125 cm from wrist to wrist.
Fastening: **If shown with a sash, unless otherwise stated, the sash is not included; for display purposes only, to let you see it closed, however, all kimonos require an obi or some sort of sash to hold them closed; these are always bought separately. Think of it like a skirt and blouse or trousers and a shirt, you can't wear either just on its own, you buy them separately and mix and match.
Kimono Collars: Note - Kimono collars are worn folded inwards, in half. Most need folded when put on, some have a press stud at the neck, some are stitched already folded down. The Japanese put an eri-shin (collar stiffener) in the fold
Kimono Fronts: Kimonos are worn with left front on top of right, by both men and women. A Japanese woman suggested using the phrase, ‘left over rice’, to remember this. Right front over left is done only when the kimono is worn as a burial shroud.
Length: All kimonos are traditionally shortened by wearing them with a tie round the waist and a big section of kimono pulled over it and folded down, so the fold shows below the sash. If you don’t want to do that each time you put it on and it is too long without it, you can either stitch that fold permanently in place at the waist or you can just take up a hem . Taking up the hem on a kimono is very easy; you don’t have to cut it so there is no raw edge to fold in when sewing it. Just put it on and put on a sash to hold it closed and work out the length you want and pin the hem up with just a couple of pins at the front while you have it on, then take it off , lay it flat on the floor and pin the same amount up all the way along the hem. It can then be quickly stitched with fairly big stitches, which won’t show when the kimono is on. The stitches I did on my own hemmed kimonos are about an inch apart, so it doesn’t take long to do. I hand sew mine but you could machine sew it if you don’t mind stitches showing on the outside. Click hereto see how to adjust kimono length the traditional way (the page opens in a new window, leaving this page open).
Storage: Hang up your garment for a few hours prior to wearing, to remove fold creases. They should also be hung out to air 4 times per year, if not worn frequently. Hang your garment to air for a day or so immediately after purchase too, as it will have been stored for a while. The Japanese take great pains to store their traditional garments with the utmost care, which is why they stay in such exceptional condition. Some of my Japanese garments have white stitching (shitsuke) round the outside edges. The Japanese put these stitches in to keep the edges flat during long periods of storage, these stitches just get pulled out before wearing the garment.
Cedarwood or lavender essential oil keeps moths away, but don't get it on the fabric, apply near it, on the box, wrapper, drawer etc. or on a tissue nearby.
Cleaning: Be very cautious about washing kimonos. All cleaning is done entirely at your own risk, as is standard with all vintage garments and items. I would advise only dry cleaning for silk ones and for most synthetic ones, cotton ones may be dry cleanable too but select your dry cleaner carefully and take their advice before deciding if you want to try dry cleaning it. Some synthetic textile or cotton kimonos can be gently hand washed but the dyes can run even in some of those, so consider that before washing but, if you decide to wash, only cool hand wash very gently, do not rub, just gently squeeze the water through it a few times, do not wring, Use a detergent made for colours, not one for whites, as they contain bleaching agents. Do not machine wash, it can rip off the sleeves, but if you hand wash you can briefly machine spin it to remove excess water before hanging it to dry but do it on its own, separately from other items. All forms of cleaning are done at own risk. In Japan many kimonos, especially silk ones and any ceremonial ones, are cleaned by specialists in kimono cleaning, often by a special method called araihari, where they take it completely apart, clean the pieces, then sew it back together again.
Uses: Kimono and haori can, of course, be worn but also make wonderful display items. If short of space for displaying one, consider a child’s kimono or a haori which are just as striking and beautiful as an adult kimono but require less space.
Colour: Please be aware that different monitors display colour slightly differently. Therefore the colour in the photos and description is a guide only.
One must bear in mind that most are vintage items, which I strive to describe accurately and honestly. Most are in excellent vintage condition and therefore look virtually new but all are vintage, even the unused garments which are or deadstock. A very, very few smell of mothballs or a touch of vintage mustiness but that is rare. This can be aired out and can sometimes be speeded up by tumble drying the dry garment at cool, but it should be put in a pillowcase in the dryer and is done only at your own risk. I have also had success at removing it by turning garments inside out and spraying very lightly with Oust, then letting them hang for a couple of days, but you do this at your own risk, as I can’t guarantee it won’t damage some fabrics. I found Oust to be much better at it than Febreze, even though Febreze is intended for some fabrics and Oust is an air freshener. Some synthetic textile and cotton kimonos can be hand washed but do this entirely at your own risk and only use a detergent for colours, as all other detergents contain bleaching agents to brighten whites. I usually mention any mothball or musty smell, if one does have it, but one must bear it in mind it is a possibility, even if not stated in the description, whenever buying vintage and antique textiles.