Glossary

Parts of your kimono

Standard kimono sizes

Types of kimono

Types of obi

Care of your kimono

Parts of your Kimono

  • Eri (collar)
  • Erisaki (collar end)
  • Erishita (collar underside)
  • Furi (sleeve portion below arm hole)
  • Mae sode (sleeve front)
  • Mae migoro (body front)
  • Suso (hem)
  • Senui (back middle seam)
  • Ushiro migoro (body back)
  • Tomoeri (collar topside)
  • Ushiro sode (sleeve back)
  • Sodeguchi (sleeve opening)
  • Sode haba (sleeve width)
  • Kata haba (shoulder width)
  • Yuki (sleeve and shoulder width)
  • Sodetsuke (armhole seam)
  • Sodetake (sleeve depth)
  • Miyatsuguchi (opening under armhole)

Standard kimono sizes

The standard kimono size is:

  • Length: 158cm
  • Sleeve and shoulder width: 63cm
  • Sleeve width: 32cm
  • Shoulder width: 31cm
  • Sleeve depth 49cm

Types of formal Kimono

kuro

Kuro tomesode

A formal kimono for married women. Kuro means black, and tomesode implies shorter sleeve length. Kuro tomesode typically have five family crests as well.

iroteme

Iro tomesode

Another formal kimono for married women, though less formal than the kuro tomesode. It too has five crests and sleeves of short width. The word iro implies colour, therefore this differs from the kuro tomesode.

uchikake

Uchikake

A long wedding robe that is an integral part of the traditional Japanese bridal costume. They are heavy and thick with padding, and extend to the floor. Uchikake were originally worn by women of nobility for formal occasions, but is now an essential component of any traditional Japanese bridal costume.

shiromoku

Shiromuku

Another traditional bridal robe. The shiromuku is white and usuay worn with a silver or white obi.

furisode

Furisode

A kimono with wide, flowing sleeves. are for single women, and are very colourful and feature ornate designs

houmongi2

Houmongi

a modified version of the furisode or tomesode. are meant for formal visits.

Mofuku

A kimono for mourning. The mofuku features no design or pattern.

Michiyuki

are three-quarter length coats/jackets with square necklines. The most common materials for michiyuki are crepe fabric, silk and satin. Michiyuki often have no patterns, but can also feature stripes, checks, or other designs that are more subtle than those of most kimonos and related garments. Garments similar to the michiyuki include the douchuugi, which provides greater protection against bad weather, the kimono raincoat, which provides complete cover of a kimono, and shawls or stoles, which serve the same purposes they do in Western culture.

Types of Obi

Obi can be with or without patterns

Zentsuu obi feature end-to-end patterns and may have patterns on both sides whereas Rokutsuu obi feature patterns on sixty percent of the length of the obi.

The obi below are in order of formality, highest first.

  • Maru obi are made of brocade fabric, and it is a double-wide obi. The maru obi is folded along its length and has a rigid lining sewn into it. Maru obi, being the most formal, are worn with their most formal kimono counterparts, and are most often worn by brides. The size is usually 32 cm wide by 420 cm long.
  • Fukuro obi are double-fold obi. If in the form of a tube, it is known as a honbukuro obi. If front and back are woven individually and then sewn together, it is known as a nuibukuro obi. These obi can be either zentsuu or rokutsuu. The size is usually 30 cm wide by 420 cm long.
  • Nagoya obi originated in the city of Nagoya, they are similar to the fukuro obi in construction, but are it less complicated and lighter in weight. There is a related variety known as the fukuro Nagoya obi, which features cross-stitching. The size is usually 30 cm wide by 360 cm long.
  • Odori obi are the longest of all , and go with the kimono used specifically for Japanese dances. The size is usually 31 cm wide by 450 cm long.
  • Haraawase obi are made from two pieces of fabric sewn together over a rigid lining. The size is usually 31 cm wide by 420 cm long.
  • Hitoe obi are one-layer obi in various widths and lengths.
  • Han haba obi are half-width obi usually used for wearing under haori or kimono and are really only suited to informal home occasions. The size is usually 15 cm wide by 320-360 cm long.

Care of your Kimono

  • Always wash your hands before handling or putting on a kimono, haori or obi.
  • A clean neck, arms, feet and entire body is needed before putting on a kimono, obi, or haori.
  • It is customary to carry several handkerchiefs while wearing such traditional Japanese garments. These handkerchiefs can help one avoid touching a kimono directly, spreading over one's lap while eating, or to wipe stains from the kimono or the hands.
  • Exercise caution when reaching for items at a dining table.
  • Wear a raincoat in inclement weather.
  • Never try to wash or apply cleaners to kimono, this can damage them beyond repair.
  • Let mud dry first if it gets on a garment. After it dries, brush it off in the direction of the grain of the kimono.