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Striped Meisen Silk 1930s Kimono
  • An antique, meisen silk kimono, with a bold, wavy line design on a wonderful, rich colour.
  • Meisen silk is similar to soft silk taffeta, with a slight hint of body to it, helping it hold its shape, although it is also very soft. It feels lovely. Meisen silk is one of the Japanese textiles created by weaving pre-dyed threads, utilizing the tie-and-resist ikat technique. In this process, the threads are first stretched on a frame. Selected design areas are tightly bound to prevent the dye from penetrating and the hanks of threads are immersed in the dye pots. The bound portions of the yarns resist the dye and when woven, as a result of the threads not being perfectly aligned, create shapes with charmingly uneven edges. The design is applied to both the warp and weft yarns (heiyo gasuri).Meisen silk was a particularly popular fabric for casual kimono between the Taisho era and the beginning of the Showa era, i.e. in early 1900s, in part because it was more affordable than previous silk textiles, and in part because the designs, frequently drawing on Western influences, seemed adventurous and innovative. Even today they retain a contemporary sensibility.
    Meisen kimonos from the early 20th century tend to be a little shorter than later kimonos, though still very long. Meisen kimonos are now sought after by kimono collectors, as the supply of good condition ones gets smaller and smaller.
  • Please don't make the mistake of thinking that 100 years old means it has any weaknesses. Kimonos are so expensive that the Japanese take immense care of them, so they often stay in exquisite condition, like this one, which it has many, many more years of wear in it.
  • Fully lined
  • Made in Japan
  • May have shitsuke-ito stitching around the edge; shitsuke-ito is loose, temporary stitching that the Japanese put in to keep edges neat during storage, it just gets pulled out before wearing. These are often a sign that the garment has never been used
  • Made in Japan
  • **If shown with a sash or accessories, they are not included; for display purposes only, to let you see it closed, however, all kimono 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, you can't wear either on its own, you buy them separately and mix and match


Measurements approximately:

126 cm from sleeve end to sleeve end

60cm side seam to side seam
154 cm long



wk849 - /10/13

Striped Meisen Silk 1930s Kimono

SKU: wk849
£98.00 Regular Price
£85.26Sale Price
  • Kimono require a sash to hold them closed. This is always bought separately. Traditionally one wears an obi sash but any sash or belt will hold an kimono closed, the deeper the sash is, the more firmly and smoothly it holds it in place.

    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. Women’s kimonos have the length adjusted by tying a narrow band around the waist, then pulling up the excess length and folding it down over the tie, the obi is then worn on top with the bottom of the fold over (the ohashori) showing slightly below the obi.  I can't really advise anyone on the fit. Please judge fit from the measurements given. Check length given for the garment, then measure from base of back of your neck down to judge that length on you.

    Also 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.

    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, using detergent specially for colours. All forms of cleaning are done at own risk.

    Colour: Please be aware that different monitors display colour slightly differently. Therefore the colour in the photos and description is a guide only.

    Additional Information: 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. 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.

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