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More Celebrities In Kimonos

wafuku blog aug 12 logo A

wafuku – noun: traditional Japanese clothing

Welcome to my www.wafuku.co.uk Wordpress blog

I found more photographs of celebrities in kimonos.
These are in addition to the celebrities in kimonos I also have HERE.

Everyone loves a kimono, regardless of gender, status or era.

John & Yoko Lennon

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Gwen Stefani.
Ever gorgeous. I love that ichimatsu obi.
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I suspect her tag was meant to say #pricelessjapan

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Shirley Temple.

Looking cute in a shichi-go-san kimono.

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Culture Club, with Boy George.
George wears a colourful kakeshita kimono while the other band members go for monochrome patterned cotton yukatas.

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Evelyn Nesbitt.
She is wearing a kimono that cost $3,000 way back in 1900. Evelyn Nesbit was a popular American chorus girl, an artists’ model and then an actress. She lived a life of controversy and died in 1967, aged 82.

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Audrey Hepburn.
Wearing a lovely houmongi kimono .

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Michael Jackson.
In kimono and hakama, complete with katana.

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David Bowie in kimono.
He seemed to have a great liking of Japanese Kimonos and, of course, his Ziggy Stardust tour costumes were designed by a Japanese designer, Kansai Yamamoto. I think his short kimono type garment in the photo below is by Kansai Yamamoto.

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Marlene Dietrich posing in a very beautiful, Japanese furisode kimono, with striking design of Japanese cranes. Cranes signify loyalty and longevity.

Did you know that Japanese, red crowned cranes dance for each other. Not just to win a mate, they mate for life and continue to dance for each other. It is such an endearing trait.

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Gene Simmons from Kiss.
I posted this in a previous post but feel he should be in one that lists kimono clad celebrities.

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Rita Ora.
One of my vintage, silk kimonos, from wafuku.co.uk, modelled by the beautiful Rita Ora.

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You can also check out my www.wafuku.co.uk website, providing vintage & antique Japanese kimonos & collectables.

www.wafuku.co.uk

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Please note that any advertisements shown below my posts are put there by WordPress, not by me. I am not responsible for whatever product or service is advertised and it being there does not mean that I endorse or recommend it. 

Kimonos, Cats and Cords

wafuku blog aug 12 logo A

wafuku – noun: traditional Japanese clothing

Welcome to my www.wafuku.co.uk Wordpress blog

Wafuku.co.uk in another magazine feature.
My website and I were part of a feature in the How To Spend It, the FT magazine, a few months ago, in their fashion edition.

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Huge Kumihimo.
I have two of these huge kumihimo; they are enormously long, hand braided, silk cords, each with a loop at the centre and lovely tassels on the end. They are unused and the tassels are still wrapped in paper. I have no idea what they are for . I think they may have been made for a Buddhist or Shinto temple, because they very thick and long, pure silk, hand made, rather special and must have been exceedingly expensive to produce. They are really rather lovely and, when you move the cord about in your hand it has that lovely sound that silk makes, like footsteps in deep, crisp, new snow.
In that photo my daughter is holding just one of them.

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Contemporary Take On Kimono.
This floaty, contemporary kimono is by Hayami Mariya.

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Pretty Kimono.
Although this will fit an adult as a beautiful robe, it is actually a girls’ kimono but girls wear them with a big tuck in the shoulders and at the waist, which reduces the size of them a lot. They are always made big so tht these tucks can be inserted, so, without the tucks, they can fit adults surprisingly well. My adult daughter, whom you can see holding the kumihimo in a photo above, wears this size of kimono a lot. She especially likes them because they come in bright colours with vibrant patterns

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Here she is again, wearing a kimono of same type and size. She is not a tall woman, so it is ankle length on her; on a tall woman they would be shorter.

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Feline Fabulous.
Check out these great cat obis. I would love these.

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You can also check out my www.wafuku.co.uk website, providing vintage & antique Japanese kimonos & collectables.

www.wafuku.co.uk

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One of my kimonos being modelled by the singer Rita Ora

haorisweeritao

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Please note that any advertisements shown below my posts are put there by WordPress, not by me. I am not responsible for whatever product or service is advertised and it being there does not mean that I endorse or recommend it. 

Display Obis & Pretty Bags

wafuku blog aug 12 logo A

wafuku – noun: traditional Japanese clothing

Welcome to my www.wafuku.co.uk Wordpress blog

Obi Displays.
I was asked about obis for display, so I formed a Nagoya obi with a repeat pattern of cute, Japanese Chin dogs and temari (decorative balls) on it and a lovely silk maru obi with phoenix feathers design. I tied them with Japanese, hand made, silk obijime (obi cords). For display I would probably hang them on bamboo rods.

The Maru Obi. Maru have pattern on both sides and are the same width along the entire length.

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The Nagoya Obi. This one has an all over repeat pattern. Nagoya obi have pattern on one side only. There is lots of very pretty, golden metallic coated thread in this one. Most Nagoya have the sash section of the obi permanently folded to half depth and on the musubi (rear knot) section at full width, which is why the bow is less deep than on the maru obi.

obi display Nagoya 1a

Tied with a handmade, Japanese, green silk obijime.

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Neither obi was cut to make the displays, they remain intact and wearable. Having photographed it, I untied and unflolded the maru obi before adding it to my website but the Chin dog one will be sold in its display form, along with the obijime cord tied round it but the hanger is not included.


I have very recently added some really charming Takekago Kinchaku bags to my www.wafuku.co.uk website;  bamboo baskets with drawstring interiors. They are such lovely handbags. Some of the styles can be seen here…

Sakura (cherry blossom & Snowflakes) on black.

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Flower Mix on red.
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Tsubaki (camellia) on black
hh iiI also have tabi that match the camellia bag.

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You can also check out my www.wafuku.co.uk website, providing vintage & antique Japanese kimonos & collectables.

www.wafuku.co.uk

——————————————–

One of my kimonos being modelled by the singer Rita Ora

haorisweeritao

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Please note that any advertisements shown below my posts are put there by WordPress, not by me. I am not responsible for whatever product or service is advertised and it being there does not mean that I endorse or recommend it. 

Fabulous Fabrics – I Must Learn To Love Quilting

wafuku blog aug 12 logo A

wafuku – noun: traditional Japanese clothing

Welcome to my www.wafuku.co.uk Wordpress blog

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The Chore Joy of Patchwork.
Ages ago I discovered a range of fabulous fabric by Alexander Henry, with a design I particularly liked. The range is called The Ghastlies. The Ghastlies are sort of Ronald Searle style, slightly Addams Family type people, in various settings. I wanted them all and the only excuse I could think of for having them was for making a patchwork quilt. I bought the majority of them.

Here are the lovely Ghastlie fabrics.

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There are also prints made up of details from the cartoons, like the ‘bramble’ print you see below, the trees and the curly Romanesque flowers.

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My picture isn’t clear enough to show it but the print below shows family portraits, so gives the name of each character.

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I have several of them in 3 to 5 background colour versions, as with the one below the one below.

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I rather like the various ‘wallpaper’ ones that are in the Ghastlie set. I didn’t buy all available, just a few, including these two.

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I like the muted colours used in them. The pattern is busy but the colours are calming.

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The next is Sebastian, the Ghastlies’ cat. I love that print. The different coloured versions don’t differ in scale, that is just in my picture, the print is the same size in each colour.

Ghastlies Sebastian

I love the style of drawing. It reminds me of Ronald Searle’s work. Ronald Searle created St Trinians, with the wicked, badly behaved, raunchy schoolgirls, with stories that were eventually made into movies, my favourite being with the wonderful Alistair Sim as the headmistress.

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The trees below are also in the picture above.

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However, the fun was in the selecting and buying of them, making a patchwork is not my idea of fun and I have never made one before. I put it off for well over a year but recently came across the fabric again and felt guilty, especially as I didn’t stop at Ghastlies; my search for them led me to Dr Seuss fabrics and Christmas fabrics and I bought those too. Most of the Christmas fabrics I chose are ones that remind me of Christmas wrapping paper from my childhood and from my daughter’s childhood. I used to wrap her gifts in standard wrapping paper but wrap all her ‘from Santa’ gifts in cheap wrapping paper without any decorations added, so she would not think they looked like the gifts she got from me, so many of the Christmas fabrics I bought are ones that remind me of that cheap wrapping paper. I also learned that I can print my own fabric on my home printer, so I have an idea for patchwork made from printouts, though that one may have to be a panel because, due to the special fabric one prints on and the ink used, those patches will be expensive to produce and then there is the fact that you can’t wash these home printed fabrics too many times without them fading, so not ideal for bedding, better for something that won’t need washed or will only rarely need washed and can be washed by hand. However, they aren’t like the iron on tee shirt patches, which are sort of plastic in texture. If I ever do make that patchwork, I’ll show it to you but I’ll keep the subject matter of it to myself for now.

Here are my Christmas fabrics. I warn you, there are a lot of them.

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This next one is my favourite Christmas fabric. It makes me feel about 4 years old.

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The one below, with the penguins and the tree one below it actually has glitter in it. Glitter, I tell you! It may only last a handful of washes but that will do me. I got those because I remember as a child in the 60s having Christmas wrapping paper with glitter on it that I really loved and made me excited about Christmas and thrilled by that pretty wrapping paper. Back then, paper was carefully removed from packages and saved to be re-used year after year and I cherished the glitter papers. Each year the saved wrapping papers got a little smaller, as the damaged edges were trimmed off, ready for re-use.

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This red one with snow people reminds me so much of cheap and cheerful wrapping paper.

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I was born in the 50s, so had to have this next one.

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My daughter liked this next one a lot, it took her back to her childhood.

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Nice touches of gold on this poinsettia one.

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I really like rodents and my daughter went mushy over the next two because the mouse reminded her of one of her favourite childhood books, Santa Mouse, where a mouse helped Santa and was eventually given a little Santa suit by him.

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Festive, fun loving dogs.

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Snowmen printed to look as though they are cut out of newspaper.

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The floating Santa heads are, again, like cheap Xmas paper

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I grew up in the time of individually hand blown glass baubles. They were expensive, precious and each year a few would smash and a few new ones would be bought. One didn’t have the option to buy unbreakable and very cheap ones like one can nowadays, so they were very special, treasured items.

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This next two, with strings of lights, are actually a Peanuts/Charlie Brown one.

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Can’t have too many baubles!

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More cute little rodents. I’m a sucker for those.

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Of course, there are a couple of Grinch Who Stole Christmas fabrics in my collection. They will also go in the Seuss patchwork.
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Flower Fairies. Had to have those.

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I find this snow scene very charming

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Any nativity ones and angel ones I have are to remind me of typical Christmas cards and especially of ones we used to get at primary school at Christmas that were just outlines that we could then colour in. I can remember them surprisingly clearly and seeing one in my mind momentarily makes me feel exactly as I did when I was given a pristine, uncoloured one in class.

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Some rather odd, scrawny, little Christmas trees, each with a big red light bulb.

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Something about tin soldiers just says, “Christmas”.

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The soldier in this next one is a bit creepy, though. His mouth reminds me of those scary, biting dolls in Barbarella. I didn’t notice before I purchased it.

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A cute little Santa, unusually, not in red clothing, in three versions, each with a different coloured background.
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The red and green gifts is another that reminds me of 1950s-early 60s magazine artwork. It has the style of a graphic in an old Homes and Gardens type magazine. It is both the colours and the style of drawing that evokes that.
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I especially like the style of the next two.

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Time for some more baubles.

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I remember lights just like these one when I was little. They never worked two years in a row and it was murder to find the dud bulb. Bulbs were glass and really expensive. In this print, I especially like that you can see the filament inside each bulb

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I live in a house that has a garden and, around one side and along the bottom, a 5 acre field. My father, who was a teacher,  planted pine trees to sell each Christmas, digging them up to order and selling them complete with roots. He died in 1973 and the trees were then left to their own devices. They are now huge and locally it gets called ‘the forest’, though is actually no more than a tiny wood, so this fabric and one other are to represent that.

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This next one makes me think of 1950s and early 60s women’s magazines around Christmas time. This is the style of illustration one might see decorating their baking pages or their crafts page.

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Another to remind me of ‘the forest’ and my daughter whose name means small star. I find it a little odd that the trunks look sort of threaded through the branches.

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Another two Grinch prints.

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These faces in the next two turned out to be huge, which I didn’t realise until the fabric arrived. A 9.5 inch square is almost filled by one face.
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More in cheap wrapping paper style.

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There is something pleasing about old style caravans in the snow.

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This pine cone and branch one is exquisite up close. I had to buy a yard because that was all that was on offer and they only had one. It reminds me of Japanese designs as well as evoking thoughts of ‘the forest’ in our field. It would make a fabulous dirndl skirt

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The next four are more delightful Peanuts ones.

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I have the Peanuts nativity in these two colours.

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This holly one is especially effective. It wows me each time I see it.

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More baubles but nicely stylised.

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Juicy looking little lights.

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A very 60s feel to this next one.

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This next one, with Santa Claus, reminds me of Christmas cards.

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It looks as though someone shook up and poured out a container of elves.

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Just in case I need some small baubles…

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WhimbrellasAttic etsy

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and just in case I don’t have enough baubles after all…

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That is most of the Christmas fabrics, around 100 there, though I have a handful more still to arrive from the USA, part of my gift from my daughter, so I don’t yet know which ones.

Anyway, one thing that put me off, after I cut out loads of squares of the lovely, printed fabrics, was the thought of cutting all the strips that go round them as an outline, called sashing. Over Christmas, my daughter borrowed a pair of cordless, electric scissors from the wardrobe department at her work and cut the plain black fabric for the Ghastlie patchwork’s sashing into lots and lots of strips for me. The navy blue strips for the Dr Seuss quilt are cut too but the plain, bottle green fabric for around the Christmas quilt is not yet cut at all. I then went on the hunt for good, electric, cordless scissors. I did very well, I got a pair of Black and Decker ones quite cheaply. The ones my daughter brought home cost about £115 and that would have been out of the question.
I’d worked out the size of sashing strips needed for my patchworks, which have 9.5 inch squares (giving 9 inch squares when sewn), so it all got cut into 2.5 inch wide strips of two lengths. I started sewing the sashing around the top and two sides the Ghastlie print squares but, after I’d used up all 141 strips, I realised that not only should I have only sewn them onto the top and one side of each square, not both sides, I also had a size wrong. I now have to unpick 94 side strips and do it without damaging the very expensive fabric used for the squares. Because I back-and-forth stitched about half an inch at each end, to make it extra secure, it means that about half a cm at each end of each strip an utter nightmare to unpick. On top of that, it is black stitching on black fabric, so my 58 year old eyes don’t like it and struggle to see it with any ease and the patterned side has too much black in it to make it easy.
Of course, I have now gone and looked online at sites and videos about making patchwork. I know I should have done it before starting. Before buying too, I suppose. This woman, from New Zealand ‘s gourmetquilter.com, is particularly good and I am now going to do the sashing like she does in this video tutorial, with the separate squares in the corners (called sashing posts), though my sashing and posts will be all one colour. Using corner posts is how it is generally advised to do sashing, for beginners especially, because, when sewing strips of sashed squares together, lining up the seams on those little corner posts helps ensure the correct positioning, so all squares line up, which can otherwise be rather trickier than one might expect. This video she did about sashing is one I find very helpful.

Making a patchwork quilt is certainly not quite the quick and easy thing I thought it would be, not even when using big, 9.5 inch squares. By the way, I am using inches in my quilt making, instead of centimetres, because some of the templates I am using came with just inches on them, probably because that is all they use in the USA and the templates I have are mostly aimed at that country’s quilters.
It is rather a labour of love and very time consuming, even if sewn by machine. Sewing is just one part of it, there is so much more to it. It is brain melting to try to calculate how many pieces are needed, it takes a lot of careful planning, a ton cutting , sewing and ironing and that is just the patchwork layer. I have to add a layer of batting (wadding) and a cotton backing layer, then cut and sew binding all around the edge and a king size quilt has a long, long edge, then I need to actually quilt the darned thing.
I knew it would need a backing, I vaguely had an idea that it might need a layer of something in the middle, I had not for the life of me thought it would need a bound edge or that I’d have to quilt all over the thing to hold the layers together and that job is something I am dreading on king sized quilts.
I also didn’t think about the stuff I’d need to buy; that batting is horribly expensive and, of course, I want to make king sized quilts (which I actually have no real use for), not dinky little wall panels or bags or ornamental fancies, which are not my kind of thing at all.
I’ve also had to buy a new cutting mat, a rotary cutter, quilting pins, lots of thread, the metres of cotton sashing fabric, the expanse of cotton for the backing, acrylic templates and rulers, scissors sharpener, seam ripper, £50 worth of thread (5 colours) etc. Luckily, my daughter is going to make me a neat, square, table top ironing mat, so I only need to buy a heat reflective cover for that, and she will cut me a few acrylic templates so I can eventually cut smaller squares from the left over fabric, for other quilts.

A few of the purchases can be seen in this photo. On the bottom row you can see a double cone thread holder, this is required because thread is cheaper bought on cones and I will need a lot of each colour but cones don’t fit on the sewing machine, so a cone holder is required. Luckily, this one was surprisingly cheap. I saw many at 5 times the price. The last thing in that picture is a tiny ironing mat that one threads strips of binding fabric through, which helps one iron them accurately folded. I will need to make miles of binding, so it seemed worth buying.

stuff bought

Bear in mind as well that almost all these printed fabrics had to be purchased from America and I am in the UK, so shipping was very, very costly, sometimes more than doubling the cost of the fabric in the package and often I got hit with import tax too and, on top of each import tax bill, there was the delivery company’s £8 fee for passing my payment to the Customs’ payment department for each package requiring customs duty payment and it amounts to quite a few packages, to say the least. Annoyingly, the Customs charge is not calculated just on the value of the contents of each package but also on the cost of the postage, which is the bit that really cheeses me off. Anyway, this all made the fabrics exceedingly costly. These are going to be very, very, very expensive quilts.

Before I continue, I may as well show you the Dr Seuss fabrics I have. Not nearly as many as the Christmas ones, of course, though there are about 6 more I’d like to get. Fortunately, unlike Christmas ones, there is a limit to the number of Dr Suess ones available. These fabrics are often produced in relatively short runs, not made year after year, so you there are never all that many of this theme around and some are no longer available anywhere.

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On top of that, I have more fabric than I need, a lot more. A fat quarter is a sort of quarter yard in that it is a half yard that is then cut in half width-wise, so, rather than being a narrow strip that is a quarter of a yard in length, it is a more squat rectangle of fabric. A fat quarter will give me two of the big, 9.5 inch squares I want for my quilts and leave enough for two smaller ones as well, but several of the fabrics could only be found in half yards or metres and some in full yards, so I have enough to make more than one quilt of each range of fabrics. Since the subject of the fabrics and the need to get around to getting these patchworks made, came up a couple of weeks before Christmas, my daughter asked if I’d like a few more fabrics as one of my Christmas gifts. I immediately went looking for ones for her to get me and, of course, not only found some for her to buy, I also ended up buying many more myself, mostly Christmas ones, an absurd amount of Christmas ones. Way too many for one quilt. I think I could easily make two King size quilts without even repeating any of the Christmas ones. I will certainly have enough to make several Christmas quilts.

This means I really have to make more than one and try to sell the extras to recoup some of the money that I spent and have been too scared to work out the total of. I don’t even want to make my own quilts, let alone extra ones. I am hoping that once I make one I will have got the hang of it and it will have become quick and easy, so I won’t object to doing the extra ones.

I now underestimated the knowledge required, so realise that I have not planned well. Actually, have not planned at all, so now that I have learned more about it, I have to unpick all those flipping strips, iron all the pieces flat again, carefully work out sizes and numbers and start again properly but I must not use that as an excuse to put it off for another year or two. I MUST get these quilts done.

Now, while my daughter told me, “Don’t by any more fabrics!”, when selecting a few for a Christmas gift for me, she found herself sucked in by the Peanuts character ones she kept coming across and then she ended up buying herself a big selection of those,so that I can make her a quilt out of them (I offered, she didn’t just presume). Like mother, like daughter.

So here are my daughter’s Peanuts fabrics.

A Wee Bit Irish St. Patrick's Snoopy Woodstock Doghouse

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christmas-time-peanuts-characters-caroling-blue
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Happiness is Peanuts Characters Marbled Green

Happiness is Peanuts Snoopy and Woodstock Red

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Hugs for Heroes Peanuts Snoopy Squares Green

Hugs for Heroes Peanuts Snoopy Stars Grass Beige

Nativity Scene Peanuts Gang Charlie Brown Snoopy Lucy Christmas Program Blue

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Peanuts Gang Easter Fabric Snoopy Colorful Eggs

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This aloha one was especially expensive, I guess because it is out of print now.

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There isn’t a season, a festival or celebration that isn’t portrayed in a Peanuts fabric.

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Now, my guilty secret is that during my most recent browsing, when both my daughter and I selected and bought more Christmas fabrics for me, I also bought six with a Japanese theme to them, which means that, eventually, I will have to buy several more so that I can make a Japanese themed quilt.

I get somewhat obsessive when it comes to things like this, I lose all self control and common sense. This is why I went from wanting a kimono, to obsessing about them to having so many that I simply had to go into the business of selling them.

I will finish this blog post with the three Japanese ones I have so far. I really ought to be making practise pieces, instead of blogging, so I can get all these made into big patchwork quilts. Maybe tomorrow evening.

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Oh, and just before I go, a rather random one, a cotton print of potatoes. Who wouldn’t want fabric with a potatoes on it? Not what usually springs to mind when one hears talk of a potato print. I’ll tuck it away and, if I do get into making quilts and not hating it, I may make a fruit and vegetable based one, as there are lots of fruit and vegetable prints like this one.

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You can also check out my www.wafuku.co.uk website, providing vintage & antique Japanese kimonos & collectables.

www.wafuku.co.uk

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One of my kimonos being modelled by the singer Rita Ora

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Textile Art To Drool Over

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Japanese textile art often leaves me overwhelmed by its beauty and intricacy. Many kimonos have hand applied textile art, known as yuzen, created by several artisans, from the designer to an artist whose speciality may be outlining, another whose speciality is shading, perhaps one who applies metallic lacquer etc.There are also magnificent examples of textile art that is woven and some is hand printed or stencilled or created using batik or shibori (tye dye) techniques.

I am saying this simply as an excuse to show off some beautiful examples of the Japanese garments I have.

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This next kimono has a wonderful repeat landscape.

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Blind Man’s Bluff on a Men’s Haori Lining.
One way geisha entertain is by playing lighthearted games and here, on the donsu silk lining of a men’s haori, is a portrayal of a game of blind man’s bluff being played in a dark room, by just the light of the moon coming through a little window.
The outside of the haori is black habutae silk, with 5 mon, making it the most formal haori, called an itsutsu montsuki haori.

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The outside of that haori; black habutae silk with 4-eye mon. There are three mon at the back and two at the front, making it the most formal style of men’s montsuki haori.

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Mount Fuji Through clouds. Simple but striking.

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The textile artist has added his signature to this kimono.

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An antique furisode kimono. This kimono has the ultra-deep swinging sleeves of a furisode (only worn by young, unmarried women) and wonderful artwork including brightly coloured flowers, beautiful birds, ouches of lacquer work and lavish, gold  embroidery.

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A delightful woven design on a pre tied obi.

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You can also check out my www.wafuku.co.uk website, providing vintage & antique Japanese kimonos & collectables.

www.wafuku.co.uk

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One of my kimonos being modelled by the singer Rita Ora

haorisweeritao

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Please note that any advertisements shown below my posts are put there by WordPress, not by me. I am not responsible for whatever product or service is advertised and it being there does not mean that I endorse or recommend it. 

Tomesode & Tiger Bags

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Coastal Scene Tomesode. I have been looking through some photos of kimonos I bought in 2012 and this is one of them. I wish I could remember which box it is in. It has fabulous textile art, displaying a coastal scene. One has to have beee rich and extravagant to have commissioned a kimono with lavish and high quality artwork like this one.

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Huge Tiger and Lion Backpacks. I fell for these huge, great, dramatic backpacks when I saw photographs of a few people in Tokyo’s Harajuko area with them. There’s a brown tiger, a white tiger and a lion. I tracked them down and got just a couple of each to make available on www.wafuku.co.uk and got a brown tiger one for myself. I might keep one of each.

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Bamboo on Purple. This is a silk Nagoya obi I recently added to my website. It is such a glorious colour and the bamboo is just lovely.

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One of my kimonos being modelled by the singer Rita Ora

haorisweeritao

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You can also check out my www.wafuku.co.uk website, providing vintage & antique Japanese kimonos & collectables.

www.wafuku.co.uk

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Please note that any advertisements shown below my posts are put there by WordPress, not by me. I am not responsible for whatever product or service is advertised and it being there does not mean that I endorse or recommend it. 

Catwalk Kimonos & More

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Here’s  Jotaro Saito’s 2011 collection of kimonos and obis. I particularly like the men’s kimonos and some of the women’s obis are made from fabulous textiles.

This video has the designer talking (with English subtitles) and shows some of the obit textiles close up,  and the video below it has the actual fashion show

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Here’s a girl in Harajuko (2012) looking lovely in a kimono, with an old fashioned, crocheted shawl and very contemporary hair colour and giraffe bag.  Note how her feet hang over the outer side of her zori shoes; which is standard with traditional zori and geta, as the toe post that goes between the big toe and second toe, is in the centre of the sole and not offset the way it is on western flip-flops. Nowadays some zir are made with the offset toe post but it’s much more usual for it to be central and the foot to hang slightly off the outer side of the shoe.

The photo is from Tokyo Fashon, a site I love.

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Now, I don’t know if this shop in Osaka, Japan didn’t know the English translation or if they didn’t care and went for shock tactics but this is a sign you certainly wouldn’t find during the sales here in UK (via japansubculture.com)

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This next photo shows a woman in USA, photographed walking through a park on her way to a wedding, wearing a man’s montsuki kimono and looking very good in it. I would have chosen a wider, stiffer belt/sash but I think she looks great in her men’s kimono. Her kimono has fuji (wisteria) mon (crests). The photo is from a blog site I love and one of my daughter’s favourite sites, called Advanced Style, showing older women with a sense of style, who, unlike many of the older generation, have not given up making an effort in their appearance, though I have to admit that some have not given up their favourite eras either and have stuck to the clothing of the era they liked best and said to hell with whether they are considered a tad out of date.  They will soon be retro anyway and that is always interesting and good.

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Interested in Japanese ghosts, goblins and ghouls? Check out this post on Weird Asia News

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How to Fold a Nagoya Obi & Other Obi Info

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In this blog post you will find Nagoya obi, otaiko musubi tying instructions, how to wear obi makura, obiage and obijime, the names of the parts of an obi and the shapes and scale of different types of obi.

Let’s start with the folding instructions for Nagoya obis
Opened up your Nagoya obi and at a loss about how to fold it again?

I have put together the instructions below, to show you how to do it. You can drag the image to your desktop to keep a copy for use without having to come online for it.

Further down this page you also will find instructions for wearing an obi makura, obiage and obijime.

You can fold it up smaller, if you prefer, just do 4 folds at the last step instead of 3, then it is smaller but thicker

When I have time, I will draw out instructions for converting a Nagoya Obi into a tsukure (two part, pre-shaped, easy wear) one, with the taiko musuba (taiko knot) section, pre-folded and stitched into its ready to wear shape, and a separate sash, and post the instructions on this blog.

Whether a normal Nagoya obi, like the one above, or a tsukure Nagoya obi, you need an obi makura (bustle pad), for inside the top of the taiko knot, to pad it out, an obiage to hold the makura and the top of the knot section in place and an obijime to hold the centre section of the obi knot in place.

Obi Makura

Makura means ‘pillow’ and an obi makura is bustle padding that’s worn inside the top of an obi’s  taiko shaped rear knot, to pad out the top of it. The obiage holds the makura in place, though sometimes makuras also have ties.

Obiage

An obiage is an obi ‘scarf’, worn through the rear knot, over the makura, and tied at the top of the sash at the front, then tucked partially behind the sash. The obiage helps hold the makura and the obi’s rear knot in place. This pink obiage has shibori work; shibori is a very fine tie dye patterning that not only decorates it but makes it stretchy, so it is much longer than this photo of it unstretched makes it look. You can see how the shibori work pulls the patterned sections in, making them narrower than the sections without it.

Obijime

An obijime is an obi cord, worn through the centre of the obi’s rear knot and around the centre of the sash, tied at the front with the ends tucked into itself at the sides. It helps hold the obi’s rear knot (musuba) and the sash in place.
The diagram below shows how they go together on an obi with a taiko musuba (square taiko knot).

Names of obi sections

The next diagram shows you the names of the parts of an obi, both untied and tied into an otaiko musubi (taiko knot). Despite the fact that the knot is called taiko, meaning drum, and the base of the knot is described as the bottom of the drum, the obi musubi’s name taiko is not because of the Japanese hand drum, it was named after the Taiko Bridge because some geisha wore this new design of musubi at the bridge’s initial opening ceremony and this particular style then became fashionable and known as the taiko musubi and has remained very popular ever since.

Types of women’s obi

The following diagram shows the various types of obi to scale. It’s not very obvious but the fukuro obi is a little bit narrower than the maru obi. Only the sash section of the tsuke (two part) obi is shown. The tsuke’s knot is separate and pre-shaped.

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Women’s Obi Types

Darari obi is a very long maru obi worn by maiko. A maiko’s darari obi has the kamon insignia of its owner’s okiya in the other end. A darari obi can be 600 centimetres (20 ft) long.

Fukuro obi (pouch obi) is a grade less formal than a maru obi and the most formal obi actually used today. It has been made by either folding cloth in two or sewing two pieces of cloth together. If two cloths are used, the cloth used for to make the backside of the obi may be cheaper and the front cloth may be for example brocade. Not counting marriage outfits, the fukuro obi has replaced the heavy maru obi as the obi used for ceremonial wear and celebration.[8] A fukuro obi is often made so that the part that will not be visible when worn are of smooth, thinner and lighter silk.[7] A fukuro obi is about 30 centimetres (12 in) wide and 360 centimetres (11.8 ft) to 450 centimetres (14.8 ft) long. When worn, a fukuro obi is almost impossible to tell from a maru obi. Fukuro obis are made in roughly three subtypes. The most formal and expensive of these is patterned brocade on both sides. The second type is two-thirds patterned, the so-called “60 % fukuro obi”, and it is somewhat cheaper and lighter than the first type. The third type has patterns only in the parts that will be prominent when the obi is worn in the common taiko musubi.

Fukuro Nagoya obi or hassun Nagoya obi (“six inch Nagoya obi”) is an obi that has been sewn in two only where the taiko knot would begin. The part wound around the body is folded when put on. The fukuro Nagoya obi is intended for making the more formal, two-layer variation of the taiko musubi, the so-called nijuudaiko musubi. It is about 350 centimetres (11.5 ft) long.

Hakata obi (obi of Hakata) is an unlined woven obi that has a thick weft and thin warp.

Hoso obi (thin sash) is a collective name for informal half-width obis. Hoso obis are 15cm (5.9 in) or 20cm (7.9 in) wide and about 330cm (10.8 ft) long.

Hanhaba obi (half width obi) is an unlined and informal obi that is used with a yukata or an everyday kimono. Hanhaba obis are very popular these days. For use with yukata, reversible hanhaba obis are popular: they can be folded and twisted in several ways to create colour effects. A hanhaba obi is 15 centimetres (5.9 in) wide and 300 centimetres (9.8 ft) to 400 centimetres (13 ft) long. Tying it is relatively easy, and its use does not require pads or strings. The knots used for hanhaba obi are often simplified versions of bunko-musubi. As it is more “acceptable” to play with an informal obi, hanhaba obi is sometimes worn in self-invented styles, often with decorative ribbons and such.

Chuuya obi or Hara-awase obi is an informal obi that has sides of different colours/designs. Chuuya is often spelled chuya and means daytime and night time; the earliest chuuya obis were bright on one side and black on the other, like night and day, hence the name. Chuuya obi were used by iki-suji ladies in ancient Japan; iki-suji means a kind of kimono expert, such as a Geisha. Chuuya obi are now obsolete and are collectors’ items. They are fequently seen in pictures from the Edo and Meiji periods, but today it is hardly used. A chuuya obi has a (usually) dark, sparingly decorated side and another, more colourful and festive side, this way the obi can be worn both in everyday life and for celebration. The obi is about 30 cm (12 in) wide and 350 cm (11.5 ft) to 400 cm (13 ft) long.

Heko obi (soft obi) is a very informal obi made of soft, thin cloth, often dyed with shibori. Its traditional use is as an informal obi for children and men and there were times when it was considered totally inappropriate for women. Nowadays young girls and women can wear a heko obi with modern, informal kimonos and yukatas. An adult’s heko obi is the common size of an obi, about 20 centimetres (7.9 in) to 30 centimetres (12 in) wide and about 300 centimetres (9.8 ft) long.

Hitoe obi (means “single-layer obi”). It is made from silk cloth so stiff that the obi does not need lining or in-sewn stiffeners. One of these cloth types is called Hakata ori. A hitoe obi can be worn with everyday kimono or yukata. A hitoe obi is 15 centimetres (5.9 in) to 20 centimetres (7.9 in) wide (the so-called hanhaba obi) or 30 centimetres (12 in) wide and about 400 centimetres (13 ft) long.

Kobukuro obi is an unlined hoso obi whose width is 15 centimetres (5.9 in) or 20 centimetres (7.9 in) and length 300 centimetres (9.8 ft).

Kyo-bukuro obi (capital fukuro obi) was invented in the 1970s in Nishijin, Kyoto. It lies among the usage scale right between nagoya obi and fukuro obi, and can be used to smarten up an everyfay outfit. A kyo-bukuro obi is structured like a fukuro obi but is as short as a nagoya obi. It thus can also be turned inside out for wear like reversible obis. A kyo-bukuro obi is about 30 centimetres (12 in) wide and 350 centimetres (11.5 ft) long.

Maru obi (one-piece obi) is the most formal obi. It is made from cloth about 68 cm wide and is folded around a double lining and sewn together. The ornate pattern is along the entire length and on both sides. Maru obis were at their most popular during the Taisho and Meiji-periods. Their bulk and weight makes maru obis difficult to handle and nowadays they are worn mostly by geishas, maikos and others such. Another use for maru obi is as a part of a bride’s outfit. A maru obi is about 30 centimetres (12 in) to 35 centimetres (14 in) wide and 360 centimetres (11.8 ft) to 450 centimetres (14.8 ft) long, fully patterned[9] and often embroidered with metal-coated yarn and foil work.

Nagoya obi, or when differentiating from the fukuro Nagoya obi also called kyu-sun Nagoya obi, the nine inch nagoya obi) is the most used obi type today. A Nagoya obi can be told apart by its distinguishable structure: one end is folded and sewn in half, the other end is of full width. This is to make putting the obi on easier. A Nagoya obi can be partly or fully patterned. It is normally worn only in the taiko musubi style, and many Nagoya obis are designed so that they have patterns only in the part that will be most prominent in the knot. A Nagoya obi is shorter than other obi types, about 315 centimetres (10.33 ft) to 345 centimetres (11.32 ft) long, but of the same width, about 30 centimetres (12 in). Nagoya obi is relatively new. It was developed by a seamstress living in Nagoya at the end of the 1920s. The new easy-to-use obi gained popularity among Tokyo’s geishas, from whom it then was adopted by fashionable city women for their everyday wear. The formality and fanciness of a Nagoya obi depends on its material just like is with other obi types. Since the Nagoya obi was originally used as everyday wear it can never be part of a truly ceremonial outfit, but a Nagoya obi made from exquisite brocade can be accepted as semi-ceremonial wear. The term Nagoya obi can also refer to another obi with the same name, used centuries ago. This Nagoya obi was cord-like.

Odori obi (dance obi) is a name for obis used in dance acts. An odori obi is often big, simple-patterned and has patterns done in metallic colours so that it can be seen easily from the audience. An odori obi can be 10cm (3.9 in) to 30cm (12 in) wide and 350cm (11.5 ft) to 450cm (14.8 ft) long. As the term “odori obi” is not established, it can refer to any obi meant for dance acts.

Sakiori obi is a woven obi made by using yarn or narrow strips from old clothes as weave. Sakiori obis are used with kimono worn at home. A sakiori obi is similar to a hanhaba obi in size and extremely informal.

Tenga obi (fancy obi) resembles a hanhaba obi but is more formal. It is usually wider and made from fancier cloth more suitable for celebration. The patterns usually include auspicious, celebratory motifs. A tenga obi is about 20cm (7.9 in) wide and 350cm (11.5 ft) to 400cm (13 ft) long.

Tsukure obi (also seen as  tsuke obi or kantan obi) is any ready-tied obi, often in two parts, the sash and the knot, making it very easy to put on. It was first invented to aid women with arthritis who could no longer pull hard enough to tie their obi knots but it became popular with other women too, because it is so quick and convenient. The tsuke obi is fastened in place by ties. Tsuke obis are normally very informal and they are mostly used with yukatas but also available as more formal two-part nagoya obis.

White obi: In a traditional Japanese Shinto wedding ceremony, a bride will wear a white obi on her white kimono. In the Edo era, a widow may dress in all white to signify that she will not remarry. Thus, some very old, white obi may not have been used for weddings. The bride will change into numerous outfits on her wedding day, often brightly coloured ones as well as the white Shinto one. Formal obis worn by men are much narrower than those of women (the width is about 10 centimetres (3.9 in) at its most). The men’s obi is worn in much simpler fashion than women’s: it is wrapped around the waist, below the stomach and tied with a simple knot in the back.

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Women’s Obi Accessories

Obiage is a scarf-like piece of cloth that covers up the obimakura and keeps the upper part of the obi knot in place. These days it is customary for an unmarried, young woman to let her obiage show from underneath the obi in the front. A married woman will tuck it deeper in and only allow it to peek. Obiage can be thought of as an undergarment for kimono, so letting it show is a little provocative.

Obidome is a small decorative accessory (obi ‘brooch’) that is fastened onto obijime at the centre front of the obi. The obijime threads through it and, when an obidome is worn, the obijime is tied at the back, inside the rear knot, instead of at the front. It is not used very often nowadays.

Pocchiri is a maiko’s especially ornate obidome. These maiko obidome are very decorative and very large. Once they graduate to full geisha/geiko, they no longer wear an obidome at all.

Obi-ita is a separate stiffener that keeps the obi flat, as it stops it creasing when one bends. It is a thin piece of cardboard covered with cloth and placed between the layers of obi when putting the obi on. Some types of obi-ita are attached around the waist with cords before the obi is put on.

Obijime is a cord, about 150 centimetres (4.9 ft) long, that is tied around the obi and through the knot,[15] and which doubles as decoration. It can be a woven string, or be constructed as a narrow sewn tube of fabric. There are both flat and round obijimes. They often have tassels at both ends and they are made from silk, satin, brocade or viscose. A cord-like or a padded tube obijime is considered more festive and ceremonial than a flat one.

Obi-makura is a small pillow that supports and shapes the obi knot, it acts as bustle padding. The most common knot these days, taiko musubi, is padded out at the top with a makura.

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Men’s obi types

Heko obi (soft obi) is an informal, soft obi, free flowing and usually made of shibori (tye-dyed) fabrics, traditionally silk. It is tied very informally. The adult’s heko obi is as long as a normal obi at 300cm (9.8 ft) to 400cm (13 ft), but relatively wide at up to 70cm (28 in). Adult men wear the heko obi only at home but young boys can wear it in public, for example at a summer festival with a yukata. On men it is tied to sit just below the belly at the front and tied slightly higher on the waist at the back.

Kaku obi (stiff obi) is another obi used by men. A formal kaku obi is about 10 centimetres (3.9 in) wide and 400 centimetres (13 ft) long and depending on its material, colours and pattern is suited to any and all occasions from everyday wear to a close relative’s funeral. A kaku obi typically is made of hakata ori which has length-wise stripes and woven pattern based on Buddhist symbols and is worn tied in the simple kai-no-kuchi knot.

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Netsuke

A Netsuke is an ornament suspended from the top of the obi and worn mostly by men. A pouch or container (remember, kimono have no pockets) can be attached with a cord and the netsuke stops the cord pulling out of the obi, securing the pouch that hangs below the obi.

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Children’s Obi Types

Sanjaku obi (three foot long obi – but it is not the Imperial foot measurement of 12 inches) is a type of men’s obi. It is named after its length, three old Japanese feet (about 37.9 cm / 14.9 inches). The obi is sometimes called simply sanjaku. During the Edo period it was popular among the people as the obi for yukata-like kimonos because of its ease of use. According to some theories, the sanjaku obi originates from a scarf of the same length, which was folded and used as a sash. A sanjaku obi typically is shaped like a kaku obi, narrow and with short stitches. It is usually made from soft cotton-like cloth. Because of its shortness, the sanjaku obi is tied in the koma musubi, which is much like a square knot.

Shigoki obi was utility wear in the time of trailing kimonos, and was used to tie up the excess length when going out. Nowadays the shigoki obi’s only function is decorative. It is part of a 7-year-old girl’s outfit for celebration of shichi go san. Most often it is red or vermillion, sometimes bright green, with tasselled ends. You can see an woman wearing one on a white kimono in a photo on many of my women’s kimonos’ detail pages.

Heko obi A soft obi, like men’s heko obis, but in bright colours, usually tie died. Tied in a soft, simple bow at the back.

Tsukure obi (pre-tied, 2 part) is a popular obi used for children because of its ease of use. There are formal tsukure obi available for children. These obis correspond to fukuro obis on the formality scale.

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The picture below shows an extended obi makura, known as azuma sugata, also known as a karyou makura, which aids in tying a variety of obi knots, such as fukurasuzume knots (sparrow knots), like the ones you see below it.

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Displaying an obi
Here are some very nice ways to display an obi, which are actually really simple to do.

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Get Creative – Dress Up Your Obi

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Dress up your obi.

The traditional styles of wearing obis will always be correct but nowadays some kimono wearers are adding a touch of their own style to their obi wearing. They are varying the rear knots more but here I will concentrate on just the fronts. This first picture, of three women, shows the most traditional way to wear one’s obi, obiage and obijime.

The obijime (central cord) and obiage (obi scarf around the top of the obi sash) are not only decorative, they help hold the rear obi knot in place. Until recently, really the only way this look was decorated was by the addition of an obidome, a piece of jewellery that the obijime was threaded through and which sat at the centre front (or slightly off centre front) of the obi sash, instead of a knot in the obijime; the obijime knot is hidden inside the rear obi’s rear knot when an obidome is worn. See an example below.

Modern variations can be seen in the photo below, where the left image shows a little doll and the right shows customised buttons on the obijime.

Over recent years I have seen variations on how the obiage (the soft obi scarf tied round the top of the obi sash) is worn; sometimes tucked into the collar edges of the kimono, instead of tied in the customary centre knot, and, more recently, with a shaped board behind the obi sash, showing above it, with the obiage placed over it to take on the board’s shape, as you can see in the photo below. The three images show, left – folded & tucked obiage instead of tied, middle – obiage shaped over a board and, right – an obiage tucked into the kimono collar edges.

Obijime (obi cord) are usually tied at centre front, in a single knot, with the ends pulled round to the sides and tucked in. Double knots have also become popular, as you can see in two in the picture above, but some women are being much more adventurous with their obijime, obiage and obidome. See a selection of creative examples below.
The girl in pink has various modern twists to her obi wearing; she wears two obijime, one twisted around the other, her obiage is half one colour and half another and not tied at the ends, just tucked in, and above it she has a band of green fabric with two rows of ric-rac braid on top of  it.

The next one has the obiage tied in an offset bow and pearls wound around the obijime, which is worn without the customary knot at the front.

Next shows another with a bow tied obiage and a variation on the obijime positioning.

The girl, below, in the cream kimono has fastened her obiage rather differently and her obijime is tied in an ornate, loopy knot at one side.

This next young lady (kimono styling by Yumi Yamamoto) is wearing a lovely antique kimono, with a flower in the centre of her obi and a band of lace below the obi sash. Lace around obis has become very popular these days. She has another touch that is seen more and more these days, a band of stiffened fabric showing above the obi sash, below the obiage. Note too the lace edge to her han eri (juban under-kimono’s collar), showing at the neck, another recent fad.

The girl below is wearing a katamigawari kimono (meaning half and half, as it is half green floral and half red, like halves of two different kimonos), over which she has an obi with two added bands of lace, a belt with a bow around the centre instead of an obijime and a decorative tassel. (kimono styling by Yumi Yamamoto)

The following picture below shows the use of lace to cover the ohashori (the length shortening fold-over at the waist of the kimono), which may be done if the kimono is too short to allow the ohashidori to show the correct amount below the obi. The obiage hasn’t been tied around the top of the obi yet. The obi looks a touch pulled in by the obijime round it, this can be solved by putting an obi ita (a special stiffening board, sometimes called a mae ita) behind the sash to keep it rigid.

The obis below have, on the left, a belt with a little bow as the obijime and, on the right, a chain with little trinkets as the obijime. I absolutely love that cherries kimono and the haori worn over it is quite unusual, being knitted and lacy. I would just about give my right arm to have one of those mannequins. (kimono styling by Yumi Yamamoto)

The obi below has lace representing the obiage.

The obijime below is done in a very creative way. It’s simple but very effective.

The following two pictures show 4 kimonos worn very stylishly. The red furisode kimono, emblazoned with cranes, has a pretty white shigoki worn below the obi and the blue one, with the stylised pine pattern, has a red, smooth obiage worn below the obi sash, as well as a black obiage at the top of it.

The purple one shown below has a half collar of lace plus a nice bow and drop on the obijime. The red kimono is worn with a lovely striped shigoki below the obi.

The strip of photos below isn’t as clear as I’d have liked but you can see the obi arrangement and the lace jabot at the neck of the kimono. The frilly jabot is simply tied round the neck of the kimono with a thin, white cord. She also has an interesting, very contemporary, felt hat.

Here’s a nice one, from Tokyo Fashion. See how ornate that obijime is.

Here is an obi with a black taffeta ruffle and a band of maribu feather on an antique kimono. I love the black and white striped han-eri on the juban beneath the kimono and the red and black date-eri on the kimono’s collar edge.

Next, two obiage tied in bows above the sash, an obidome on the obijime and a pink shigoki below the obi.

Another view of the one above, without the blue tint to the photo.

Ok, the next one is not a human but this cat is rather cute and the bunny obidome on the obijime is delightul.

The next two photos, from a designer in Japan, show kimonos that have been shortened, with the cut off fabric made into a skirt and lots of lace and ruffle edges added to the outfit plus an obi with a chiffon band around it and an informally bowed pair of obijime, giving a young, stylish look that is unmistakenly Japanese, with lots of tradition in a very contemporary style outfit. Note, in the first of the photos,  the use of Doc Martin style boots along with a very traditional, white fur kimono shawl on a stand at the bottom.

Next you can see a similar kimono outfit to the black floral kimono above, worn with a organdie sash, with a big flower at the front of the obi and a pretty organdie creation at the back.

Another way to be creative with your obi is to customise the obi itself. This is not a new idea. Below you can see three antique obis that have been customised. The one on the left has hand embroidered kotoji (the bridges that hold up the strings on a Japanese harp called a koto) and the other two are hand painted in oil paints, the purple one with exquisite roses (which are not native to Japan and considered exotic) and the black one with a vase of roses and two cats.

This tradition of customising obis continues and you can see some excellent examples below, with contemporary designs. This black one, by Yield-For-Kimono, is beautifully stencilled with a pair of headphones on the rear and a boombox on the front, both joined by a cable. I especially like the unexpected choice of image for an obi. Brilliant! It turns a mofuku (mourning) obi into one that can now be worn anytime and is no longer confined to use when in mourning.

She is auctioning this wonderful obi and some kimonos on eBay, with all the money going to the Japan relief fund! You can see the kimonos modelled at Yield-For-Kimono and bid for each ensemble on eBay at Red Kimono Ensemble and at Black & Beige Kimono Ensemble (those eBay links may be gone now)

The red obi has appliqued cats on the front of the sash and on the centre of the rear bow knot. Tying the obijime in a casual bow is unusual too.

The obi in the next photo is worn with the obijime and obiage the traditional way but the addition of a red shigoki sash below the obi is particularly pretty.

So, when wearing your kimono outfit, you can bend the rules if you are brave and strict tradition isn’t required. Consider being creative and original and dress up your obi in any way you desire.

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Snow… man, robot & squirrel… snow play!

wafuku new year

wafuku – noun: traditional Japanese clothing

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Christmas has passed and New Year beckons.

I loved having snow thick on the ground here on Christmas day, it’s been so long since we had a white Christmas. My daughter came home to spend Christmas here and, even at 36 years old, was really excited by the snow.

On Christmas day we started making a snow man, by 27 December we had built a snowman, called Lyle, a Kid Robot and a snow squirrel and were quite exhausted by it.

In the photos below, you can get an idea of the snowy conditions and the outcome of all our snow play. The first shows my daughter in part of the back garden, the second shows the snow topped, permanent sculpture there, a stylised mule called Mr Lamb.

In next few photos you can see us making the snowman. He got named Lyle because my daughter decided to add a quiff and he suddenly looked a bit like Lyle Lovett. We used some ash from the log fire in the house to outline his hair a touch. He was built near the front of property, to be seen through the kitchen window

Next was Kid Robot, built on the lawn called the washing green.

It was started in daylight but time flies when carving a snow figure and we continued to work after dark, relying on a little light from the house reflecting off snow. Most of the light in the photos below is from the camera flash.

Next his chin was bulked out a bit, his mohican adjusted and his eyes worked on but he got crumbly towards the end of his construction, so we stopped at that and didn’t add the ear discs for fear of the head breaking off (again).

We then moved to the top back lawn, to make the next and final thing, before it got too dark and the snow got too icy to manipulate. The final one we made was a snow squirrel, because we like watching the squirrels scampering about on that lawn. By then it was pretty dark and the snow had thawed enough to have dropped off the trees but snow still lay over the ground and had got quite icy on the surface, so it was hard to work. It’s still there and I’d like to make some adjustments to it but it’s now so frozen and the snow on the ground is powdery below a crisp frozen layer and none of that lends itself to making changes to the squirrel, so I’ll leave it alone now

The picture below, printed on a man’s, silk juban kimono, shows geisha building snowmen. Notice the extremely high geta they have on their feet, to raise them out of the snow.

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A happy New Year to you all.