Kimono Flea Market ICHIROYA's News Letter No.505

 We have many fabrics in our website-most of them are sold as rolls (we call them tanmono-bolt). As you notice, bolts are narrow, mostly around 36cm width or so(approx 13.7 inches). Rolls are made to make one kimono or haori (sometimes longer ones are for ensemble). If the rolls are approx 12 meters or longer, they are for kimono. If they are about 10 meters long or so, they are for haori. Obi bolts are usually thicker and shorter.

Sometimes we are asked whether we have wider kimono fabrics  or not.  As you can see, kimono are made by putting panels together-bodice part and sleeves. Roughly speaking, there are four panels length on horizontal line. Two panels for sleeves and two panels for bodice, so the maximum sleeve to sleeve length of kimono made of the bolt is four times length of the width of the roll. Actually, seam allowance( at last 8 cm -1 cm for each side of the rol)is needed, so the width x 4 - 8cm is the maximum length of sleeve to sleeve length which can be tailored from that particular fabric..

Length can be adjusted to the wearer's height by making or having no folding at the waist but sleeve to sleeve length(we call it yuki) is limited depending on the width of the fabric. There are some wider kimono fabrics also but it seemed it used to be the width 36m could cover most Japanese womens' size. We are often asked how much more allowace at the shoulder part of certain kimono from customers. Even if the sleeve to sleeve length of the kimono is shorter at the moment, sometimes the part can make it wider if there is more allowance. As you can see, kimono are flat, and they can be unstiched and take a part and tailor again. That is what has been done-kimono have been tailored from bolts and then took a part, washed and tailored again to adjust the (the former or next)wearer.

Younger Japanease are taller and have longer arms (and legs too!), so they do not fit with antique kimono. Old bolts cannot make matching size kimono for them, they are too narrow for their yuki.


We went to an event called Textile Marche - this is a direct-from-makers event. One of the fabric maker from Kyoto had these fabrics we are listing on Monday.

They are fabric makers- they used to make chirimen silk for kimono. Along with the declination of kimono industry, they were seeking for the survival and they made many kinds of fabrics with subtle texture. Using their technique to make chirimen(chirimen are often introduced as `crepe' silk.  Chirimen are one of the most loved fabric for kimono and considered to be a very nice fabric for fancy types of kimono. Even the solid color kimono(iromuji), chirimen has its subltle charms.

They started to make wider fabrics for clothings.Their solid color chirimen(just as #245337) were used for fancy dress from a famous European fashion brand(everyone knows the brand, but we cannot tell).

The company were often asked to make polyester or other synthetic fabrics, and gradually, most of their products became non-silk fabrics. 


We are listing some of their products-they are much wider than kimono bolts, they are about 90cm to 115 cm(approx 35.4 in ches to 45.4 inches).  

We cannot offer in large lot but if you are interested in making clothings using  Japanese fabrics( not vintage bolts!) , we will be very grateful if you could take a look at some of their products. Most of the products are synthetic  blend- some have Japanese paper and silk and have very interesting effect!

We hope you enjoy seeing present Japanese fabrics