KIMONO

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KIMONO OBI

The Japanese kimono obi is a traditional decorative cloth worn around the middle of a kimono.

Beautiful Japanese girl wearing kimono & obiIntroduction to Obi
History of the Obi
Obi Weaves, Dyes & Stitches
Types of Obi
Modern uses for kimono Obi

Introduction to Obi

More people the world over are recognising that Japanese traditional arts are too lovely to be left behind in the rush towards the 21st century. As Japan races forward, technologically and economically, we tend to forget its older image of picturesque teahouses and thatched roofs. Yet the design principles and philosophy behind traditional creations have not changed.

For several decades now, Japanese women have found Western dress more practical, comfortable and economical than traditional Japanese kimono and obi attire. The trousseau of fine heirloom obi is no longer a part of modern Japanese women's lives. The decline in the kimono industry in Japan has resulted in fewer obis being produced each year.


A young Japanese woman wearing a furisode kimono with a matching Obi.

As a fine obi becomes scarce, many of the best obis are considered collector's items. The most rare and expensive obi is the maru obi. Vintage maru obi is most valuable, as the patina of the gold thread resembles that of an antique tapestry. Newer maru obi, while it is still beautifully designed, does not have the lustre of the older maru obi, perhaps because of the use of synthetic material in combination with silk.

You will be paying top dollar for a high quality obi at antique shops in Japan. Some large department stores hold clearance sales several times a year. Expect to pay several hundred dollars for a used obi, while a new obi can cost several thousand dollars.

History of the Obi
Obi Weaves, Dyes & Stitches
Types of Obi
Modern uses for kimono Obi

Japanese Fashion Links Related Topics Where to buy kimono