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How to Construct a Kimono

Threads magazine - 170 - Dec. 2013/Jan. 2014 Issue
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I’ve collected tiny pieces of kimono for decades and even graduated to the occasional whole kimono, which I bought to harvest the enchanting silk fabric. I am not alone in this. Many designers use vintage kimono fabric in their creations. Some kimono are long, padded, and pillowy. Other, more contemporary kimono are short and less elaborate. Even an all-black kimono often has stunning and unexpected elements in the fabric. The kimono is hundreds of years old. Its creation, fabrication, and style are a beloved Japanese tradition. The package of fabric that’s destined to become a kimono is called a tan and is about 12 yards long and 14 inches wide from selvage to selvage. You can harvest slightly less fabric from the garment. It was with great respect that I approached a vintage kimono one Saturday morning with snips in hand. Now, with plans for the fabric, I also wanted to explore the kimono’s construction to see what it could teach me. Join me as I re-create the steps the kimono maker likely followed in this article from Threads #170.

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