Japanese Kimono Fabrics
Japan has always created some of the most incredible fabrics in the world. We have a variety of colors, weaves, and types, from traditional to unusual. Most are excellent condition vintage-or-older silks, wools and cottons, meant for kimono, ready for you to re-use and beautify the world, without buying new fabric from huge factories if possible. These are old treasures.
*Most of our Japanese fabrics are approximately 14" wide; that's the size of the traditional kimono fabric looms and the width of fabric that kimonos have been made from for throughout their history in Japan.
*If the fabric is sold "By the Yard", it means we have or had the whole bolt, and we'll cut yours to the number of yards you order, in one continuous piece. Just like in a fabric store.
*Some are pieces of a specific size noted in the listing, because it is fabric from an old kimono, often from the 1970's/80's, recently disassembled, cleaned and ironed. For those fabrics, the size listed (14" x 42" for example) is the size you will get; we don't' cut those down, and they are not available longer than the listing shows. They were taken apart stitch by stitch for us in Japan, and some may have creases from previous seam lines or a few small notches on the long edges, which will usually be clear in the photos.
Accuracy of fiber content and dye information: These fabrics can be very complex. These are not quilting cottons from factories - they are art. Old art, from natural materials. We do our best with photography and writing, and try to be clear about what's fact and what's an educated guess or a wild theory. I believe we're almost always correct about fiber content, but most of the time it's an educated guess since most of our old Japanese fabrics don't have labels, or sometimes they are hard to translate. We want our fabrics to take your breath away and bring you tears of joy. That's how they affect us and that's why we do this for you. If you're a silk purist you're in good hands with us; we always try to have an excellent selection of Japanese silks.
The selection always changes. Almost all are one of a kind and they may sell out quickly. We are continually adding more so that you have a good selection to pick from.
Smells: Sometimes you'll need to air out your vintage fabrics, because most have been in storage for a long time in random places throughout Japan.
Care: Most of these fabrics were created decades ago in small workrooms, and their exact history and production methods are not documented. Most kimono fabrics are created once, for one 13-yard bolt only so there are never general care instructions. We recommend dry cleaning to preserve lustre, texture and color. However, many people hand wash their silks gently with mild shampoo or hand washing soap, and air dry. Test a piece first, make sure you are happy with the result, then treat the entire piece that way always, before and after you sew. We've heard of many ways to clean silk - there's no one right way. The internet is full of suggestions you may want to research.
Wabi Sabi: The beauty of imperfection. Most of our Japanese fabrics were made partly or wholly by hand, using multiple weaving and dying processes. Let's honor the weavers and dyers' skills and time put into these fabrics, which is a lot, by forgiving, even appreciating, minor imperfections. Hand made fabrics are usually not perfect and this is part of their value, individuality and very essence. Most of these are many decades old and may have a few blemishes; hopefully not too many. These fabrics are so beautiful we hope you agree they are worth the occasional unusual feature. We will note any issues we see.
Returns: If you need to return anything just let us know and we almost always can. We want you to be happy. Sometimes if we cut it for you, we'll offer you store credit and if that works for you it may make sense, due to the extra time and cost involved in re-selling a piece of fabric that had been on a bolt.
Swatches: Let us know what swatches you'd like and we can almost always send them, sometimes small and sometimes larger, for free. We'll work with you!
Orange Marigolds on Gray-Indigo, Vintage Kimono Wool Blend by the Yard from Japan #743
Gray/Blue/Pink/Black Ikat, Vintage Kimono Wool by the Yard from Japan #742
Pale Gold-Apricot Lustrous Satin Jacquard Vintage Kimono Silk, By the Yard #741