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 use for any thing you like - not just kimonos - without buying new fabric from huge factories. Most of our Japanese fabrics were hand spun, handwoven and/or hand dyed, or made in small workrooms and studios. This is Slow Fabric.
*Most of our Japanese fabrics are approximately 14" wide, the size of the traditional kimono fabric looms and the width of fabric that kimonos have been made from for centuries, in Japan. You can use any pattern you like and add seams where you like, because of the narrow width. The piecing does take more time but you'll probably find that being able to use such gorgeous fabric is worth it.
*If the fabric is sold "By the Yard", it means we started with the whole bolt, which is/was usually 12-13 yards. We'll cut yours to the number of yards you order, in one continuous piece. Just like in a fabric store. You'll see "Only __ Left" on the fabric's listing, for how many yards remain.
*Some are pieces of a specific size noted in the listing, because it is fabric from an old kimono, often from the 1960's thorugh '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. 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. They are old textile art from natural materials, sometimes the identity of which is obvious and sometimes not. 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. We're usually correct about fiber content, sometimes we make an educated guess since most of our old Japanese fabrics don't have labels, or they may be 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. But the risk of the unknown is always there.
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. Find them in this collection below, or in New Arrivals.
Smells: Sometimes you'll need to air out your vintage fabrics - some have been in storage for a long time in various conditions in Japan.
Care: Most of our customers dry clean vintage Japanese fabrics to preserve lustre, texture and color. Many hand wash their silks and wools gently with mild shampoo or hand washing soap in cool water, and air dry. In all cases, 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. Hand made fabrics may not be 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. We will note any issues we found.
Returns: If you need to return anything within 30 days, please let us know and we'll be in touch right away with the address you should ship it to. Sometimes we need to charge a re-stocking fee on fabric we cut for you, but we'll try to avoid that.
Swatches: Let us know what swatches you'd like and we'll do our best.