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Kimono Fashion Sewing Techniques for Designers

Traditional clothes have been in demand lately, and if you are a fashion designer, you need to have a clear idea about all types of clothes that fall under this genre. Today, we will be discussing one such clothing type, i.e., kimono. 

Kimono is a traditional Japanese attire that means “thing to wear on the shoulder.” This attire is stitched by implementing specific conventional techniques that are still in use. To understand more about kimono pattern sewing, let’s discuss this type of clothing and its variants in depth. 

What is a Kimono?

What is a Kimono?

As discussed earlier, the kimono is a traditional Japanese attire as well as the national dress of the country. Earlier, the kimono was worn with various accessories such as an obi (a broad piece of fabric), zori (footwear), and tabi (socks). A kimono is cut out of a narrow cloth known as Tanmono in Japanese. This dress is often regarded as difficult to wear, but the kimono can never go out of fashion due to its cultural significance. How one wears a kimono is called kitsuke in Japanese, which means “dressing.”

Kimonos are also classified according to the occasion. A kimono that can be worn every other day for work is known as Yukata, while the kimono worn by Sumo wrestlers is of a different genre. 

Fabrics used to make kimonos

Traditional fabrics are required to make an ideal kimono. Traditionally, kimonos are made of Tanmono (a traditional Japanese cloth) or silk. But with times changing, this piece of clothing also saw a change in its material and design. Nowadays, designers prefer linen, cotton, satin, or hemp in their kimono pattern sewing techniques. For a formal kimono, silk is preferred. 

The fabric of a kimono also depends on the weather. If one chooses to wear a kimono in summer, linen or Japanese crepe is the preferred fabric. 

Kimono pattern sewing techniques

Kimono pattern sewing techniques

The sewing in kimonos is kept loose because these are difficult to wash and thus, many people avoid using modern stitching while making a kimono. Some of the famous techniques employed to sew a kimono are:

Unshin

It is the traditional technique of sewing a kimono manually. In this technique, a running stitch is made on the kimono to keep the cloth loose and allow the makers to detach it for washing purposes. This also makes the kimono durable because even if the kimono gets stretched, the loose stitch will come out and prevent any damages to the cloth. 

Shibori

Shibori is a very sacred kimono pattern sewing technique found only in the most expensive kimonos. In this technique, the patterns are sewed by binding the fabric and covering the extra area. 

Sashiko

The traditional Japanese stitching technique used to make designs on clothes is known as Sashiko. This technique was traditionally employed on homespun clothes to increase their durability. When doing so, Sashiko makers use a plain running stitch to make patterns on the clothes or to strengthen them. There are several sashiko patterns, such as Yoko-Jima, Tate-Jima, and Yarai, that are stitched on kimonos. 

The style and sewing techniques of Japan have evolved with the change in the ruling dynasties of Japan. In the Heian period, Hitoe, an underwear, began to be worn as outerwear and is referred to as kosode. Later in the Kamakura period, the kosode was an ankle-length attire and its sleeves were round and attached to the main garment. An obi was tied around the waist while wearing a kimono and this style was known as Hoso-obi. 

Around this time, people started wearing kosode (dress worn with Kimono) around their shoulders or completely removed it and tied it with the obi. This trend gave birth to Uchikake, a decorated dress to be worn over kosode. In modern days, kimonos come with an Ohashori, a technique used to tuck away the excess cloth to prevent it from getting dragged against the floor. On the other hand, a kimono for men is sewn in a way that there is no overfold and the cloth precisely matches the man’s length. This whole dress is held across the waist using a narrow belt.  

However, in some kimonos, such as the Susohiki, the kimono pattern sewing technique is different. The common sewing technique includes placing the collar slightly towards the back of the neck area and attaching the sleeves to the shoulders rather than to the kimono directly. Moreover, the kimono’s complete length is now equal to the woman’s length, which allows the ohashori hip fold that we discussed earlier. 

Different types of modern kimono sewing pattern

After discussing the different techniques of kimono pattern sewing, one may have realized that it is indeed an arduous task. But modern fashion designers have found a way to reduce the complexity of a typical kimono dress. Some of the most celebrated kimono pattern sewings are: 

Kochi kimono

If you plan to wear a western-style kimono, the Kochi kimono is ideal for you. This is a short-length kimono, which unlike the  traditional kimono, doesn’t take a lot of material but is very difficult to manage. However, a Kochi kimono comes with buttons that make it more manageable.   

Lace kimono

This type of kimono is a combination of the traditional style kimono and attractive laces. Lace kimono is worn with trousers and looks best with satin trim.  

Kimono jacket 

A kimono made of a lightweight fabric, which is comfortable and maintains a good flow, is known as a jacket kimono. 

Asaka kimono

An Asaka kimono is known for its beautiful sleeves. This type of kimono gives a traditional look. The only difference between the two is that the Asaka kimono comes with split sleeves. 

Venus kimono

Venus kimono, a kimono designed for beaches, is becoming popular among fashion enthusiasts. With a simple yet elegant look, this kimono has the comfort of modern clothes and the serenity of traditional garments.  

Sewing a kimono

After discussing the various kimono pattern sewing techniques and designs a kimono can exhibit, it is time to learn how to make a kimono for oneself. The steps involved in kimono making are: 

  • Take the person’s measurements. 
  • Rebase the clothes to ensure that fabrics are not clogged. 
  • Calculate the length of the Tanmono that you will require to make the kimono. 
  • Now match the kimono pattern according to the body type of the person who will be wearing it. 
  • Cut out all the pieces as per the desired pattern. 
  • Start individually making various parts such as sleeves, body, and front strips. 
  • Make the collar and ensure that it is fixed with strips. 
  • Assemble all the pieces and stitch them by implementing the kimono pattern sewing
  • Do remember to attach the collar at the end. 
  • Draw your desired pattern on the clothes using any of the techniques mentioned above, and there you are with a brand-new kimono just for yourself. 

However, apart from this, you also need to be familiar with various terminologies used in stitching a kimono, such as Kise, Kenukiawase, Ningyou, Tsuma-saki, and many others. 
Kimono is a beautiful and traditional attire that everyone wants to wear. However, if you are a dress designer and don’t know how to source your clothes, you should get in touch with Fashinza. Fashinza is a B2B apparel manufacturing platform. Brands can use this platform to place manufacturing orders for their collections and have them delivered, with options to track, communicate, and make payments along the way.

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