For Kimono fan-Basic Information

What is Kimono, How to Wash and Maintain

purple great kimono from salz kimono
Salz Tokyo deals with many antique Kimono
Salz Tokyo deals with many antique Kimono
Salz Tokyo deals with many antique Kimono

Are you a Kimono fan? any good Kimono shop? Where can you get a great vintage Kimono and antique Kimono? 


Many visitors read this article on " How to buy authentic Japanese Kimono online without being cheated? " and gave us positive responses. Many asked us to write more about Kimono so here it is!


You can check the latest Kimono from our long term friend's Kimono brand shop Salz Tokyo (you can check the credentials and reviews for the shop in the website). The shop offers rental Kimono, styling service, Kimono cleaning and all kind of Kimono advice.


The shop includes all Japanese Kimono with many types Furisode, Homongi, Irotomesode, Tsukesode, Hakama, Kurotemesode, many colours blue, green, red, yellow, white and black Kimono, Jinbei, kimono jiu jitsu (Judo, Kendo, Kyudo), Yukata (summer casual kimono), Kimono dress (availability depends on season and time). You find various cool Obi belt and all sort of items you need as a Kimono lover.


In our hope to share with you information about Kimono, just as start, we explain here:

1) what is Kimono,

2) Kimono in today's context,

3) how to wash Kimono (in case you need a professional Kimono cleaning, Onegai Kaeru International Kimono cleaning shop is for you.) 

4) how to keep Kimono well and

5) Onegai Kaeru Kimono Production service. 



For all Kimono fans around the world, if you have anything to say about Kimono ( just opinion, just greeting, question, when you have some Kimono you can not find anywhere etc. ) or do you want to make your original kimono?, you can use the comment box below or just write to us!

What is Kimono?

Salz Tokyo deals with high quality Kimono
Salz Tokyo deals with high quality Kimono
Mikaeri Bijin ( the beauty looking back) famous japanese painting Source: Wikipedia
Mikaeri Bijin ( the beauty looking back) Source: Wikipedia
A couple in Kimono Source: Wikipedia
A couple in Kimono Source: Wikipedia

Kimono means "thing to wear" in Japanese. Originally it meant all kind of clothes in Japan. 

When western style clothes introduced in mid 1800 (the end of Edo period), the term "Wafuku (Japanese clothes)" was invented and used to differentiate it from non-traditional Japanese clothes.


Today "Kimono" basically means Furisode, Homongi, Irotomesode, Tsukesode, Hakama etc. the old traditional Japanese clothes, not T-shirts.


After western style clothes introduced, many Japanese stopped wearing Kimono because western one was much easier to put on and fashionable as a new style. Many years past and majority of kimono companies are out of business. 


Kimono culture was out of spot light for years in Japan.  Very similar to the case where one of our Onegai Kaeru team members' family had major Geta (traditional Japanese wooden sandals best suited for Kimono) business near Tokyo. When western shoes came to the market, the business was gone.

Kimono Today

Japanese Girls in Yukata (Summer Kimono). It is the sign of summer in Japan Source: Wikipedia
Girls in Yukata (Summer Kimono). It is the sign of summer in Japan Source: Wikipedia

Onegai Kaeru trying to raise the awareness of the beauty and also practicality of traditional Kimono. It looks not easy to wear but actually very easy once you know how to. Easy to move. Women and men look so great in them.


These days we see more people in Kimono and feel like that Kimono culture is back in Japan.  It is so happy to see more young people wear Kimono. 

Even Pokemon revives Kimono culture by introducing Furisode Girl (Pockemon trainers wear Furisode style costumes) in Generation VI. 


Especially outside of Japan, there are also "semi Kimono style" clothes inspired by Kimono style such as Kimono Robe, Kimono Jacket, Kimono dress. These are not really "Kimono" but another fashion style.

How to Clean and Wash Kimono?

Araihari process. Kimono cleaning expert hanging Kimono  Source: Wikipedia
Araihari process. Kimono cleaning expert hanging Kimono Source: Wikipedia
Salz Tokyo dealing with vintage Kimono
Salz Tokyo dealing with vintage Kimono

Kimono (we used this term to define "traditional Japanese clothes" as we described) is a piece of art. But it should not be always kept in closet.

Ki-Mono (thing(=Mono) to wear(=Ki)), as the meaning of the word implies, lives when you wear them. It is natural it gets dirty over time.  


So how should we wash it? With hot water? cold water? Chemical detergent? with a machine or hands?


The simple answer is you can NOT wash it at home with some exceptions. You need Kimono cleaning experts for traditional Kimono made of silk (e.g. Chirimen, Rinzu style).


These are exceptions: some Kimono are made of clothes which were already washed to make sure it does not shrink. Some of the Cotton, Hemp (Asa) and synthetic material Kimono are also possible to wash at home.  Please read the relevant article How to Wash Your Kimono At Home.


The very traditional way is called "Araihari(洗張, meaning [ wash-expand ])". This started around 970 (as Utsubo Monogatari ( story of Utsubo) described it). With Araihari, you dissemble the Kimono into pieces and wash one by one with water and let them dry by expanding the pieces, and assemble them into one Kimono again. 


Great news for Kimono lover is that Onegai Kaeru owns the professional Kimono cleaning/laundry shop in Japan which deals with old Kimono ( Furisode, Tomesode, Obi, Juban etc.). 


Kimono lovers around the world usually send their Kimono to the shop for professional cleaning. 

For details of Kimono cleaning service, please contact us.

How to Keep Kimono Well?

real Samurai in Kimono looking at you Source: Wikipedia
Samurai in Kimono Source: Wikipedia
Salz Tokyo dealing with antique Kimono
Salz Tokyo dealing with antique Kimono

How should you maintain Kimono in good condition? Here is what to do.


Kimono is weak for the sun light (sun burn), humidity (mold) and bugs (make holes). Traditional way is to keep them in a closet made of empress tree (kiri) and put some camphor (shonou) in packets as an insect repellent. Today you can store them in a plastic clothes case with a lid in which you put the camphor.


So what are these annoying insects? Typical clothes eating pests are carpet beetle and clothes moth.

When you see a tiny (ca 5mm) beetle looking insect in your room, that probably is a carpet beetle. When it huches in Spring, the bug eats as much as 2-3 time of its body weight for a week (no wonder the bug makes a big hole in our favourite clothes). 

The favourite food of these insects are 1) wool, 2) silk (as many Kimono made of!) and 3) cotton. Some hungry bug even eats  artificial textile. It is not because insects are too hungry to eat it but the insects eat protein (some dirt or in dried sweat) on the textile and tend to bite in the textile too. 


There are artificial camphor and natural one. The artificial one gives us headache (and we do not think it is good for health.). We always use natural ones.

One tip: when you put the repellent, make sure you put it somewhere high in the box. As the vapor of repellent is heavier than air. if you put it at the bottom of the box, it only works for the bugs on the bottom. And NEVER mix with different repellents because it may cause dangerous chemical reaction. 


For the natural insect repellent, if you need one, please contact us.

original kimono PRODUCTION

make original kimono

We work with artisans in Kimono fields and produced many kimono and items.


If you want to create/produce your original kimono, you can talk to us. We can offer consultation and help you produce a great quality kimono with your design.


The production may be around 3-4 months excl. shipping time.


Interested? Feel free to contact us for consultation and quotation. 

Any question?

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More Kimono RELATED articles

How to buy Kimono online without not being cheated? Any scam case? We explain the useful tips here.


If you are looking for vintage Kimono we collected from around Japan from collectors? Check out the latest Kimono from this shop. This is the shop we have known long time and trust. 


If you looking for a particular information about Kimono, please contact us via the contact form.


Recommended information: 

Planning your trip to Japan? Find out a lot of useful information here!


Source: Wikipedia

Disclaimer: Even though we try to make the info as updated and accurate but the accuracy of the information herein is not guaranteed by us. If you have any uncertainty, please contact the information source.

Comments: 2
  • #2

    Kaeru team (Wednesday, 14 December 2016 20:03)

    @Cecilia no prob. Let us know if you have any question! thank you.

  • #1

    Cecilia (Sunday, 04 September 2016 15:58)

    Shop kimono ,articoli.Grazie