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The Kimono

Kimono

\Ki*mo"no\, n.; pl. -nos. [Jap.]
1. A kind of loose robe or gown tied with a sash, worn as an outer garment by Japanese men and women.

2. A similar gown worn as a dressing gown by women of Western nations.

Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc

The kimono is the traditional clothing of Japan. Kimono styles have changed significantly from one period of Japan's history to another, and today there are many different types of kimono worn by men, women and children. The cut, colour, fabric and decorations of a kimono may vary according to the sex, age and marital status of the wearer, the season of the year, and the occasion for which the kimono is worn.

Originally from Japan, the Kimono is a style of wrap around clothing which has gained international acceptance and acclaim and is the term applied to silk robes as available from many Asian countries especially Japan, China and Thailand.

History of the Kimono in Japan
Jomon Period (Before 300 AD)
The clothes of this period were made of hemp and loosely fastened. There was no distinction between male and female clothing.

Yamato Period (300-550 A.D.)
Yamato clothing consisted of two pieces, an upper and lower piece. The upper piece had tight sleeves. During this period the art of raising silk worms was introduced in Japan by Chinese settlers. At this time, they had no skills or techniques for dyeing clothes, so the silk fabric remained white.

Asuka Period (550-710 A.D.)
During the Asuka and Nara< periods sewing methods developed more, and clothing became longer and wider. Courtier's clothes were divided into three groups: formal clothes, court clothes and uniforms, the colours varying with rank.

Nara Period (710-792 A.D.)
During the Nara and the previous Asuka periods, techniques for dyeing silk were developed. Clothing consisted of many pieces including upper and lower garments, jackets, a front skirt, and a back skirt.

Heian Period (792-1192 A.D.)
During the Heian period, the Japanese expressed their perception of colour and colour changes of the four seasons through costume. Their deep love of artistic beauty and colours were reflected in the kimono of this period.
Heian Period Junihito - To protect against high humidity, buildings had elevated floors made of tatami mats. The convention of sitting on the floor became an important part of the life style. Clothing became stiffer and more voluminous. Court women wore 10, 12, 15 or even 20 layers at a time. This layered dressing is called "juni-hito" which literally means "12 layers." The layered colour pattern reflected many things including seasons, directions, virtues, and elements of the earth as they related to spirits of nature. The multiple layers also helped in staying warm in winter.
Heian Period Noshi - These were the everyday Court clothes for men.
Heian Period Bukan-Sokutai - The Bukan-Sokutai was a warrior's Court clothes.
Heian Period Uneme - The Uneme was a Lady in Waiting's outfit.
Heian Period Suikan - The Suikan was a hunting outfit.
Heian Period Kazami - the Kazami was warm weather clothing for young women and children at the Court.

Muromachi Period (1192-1573 A.D.)
During this period, the aristocratic culture of the Heian period decayed and the Samurai gained power. Clothes were modified to be simpler and easier to move around in to fit the more active lifestyle of the Samurai.

Edo Period (1601-1867 A.D.)
During this period, commerce and industry developed rapidly. Merchants began to have more power than the Samurai. Better dyeing techniques were developed. The "Yuzen" dyeing technique (a dye-resist dyeing process) was developed and became popular because any colour could be used and could dye many different complex patterns such as flowers and birds. The Kimono was now made of multicoloured, highly decorated fabric, and was worn in a single layer. The belt, or obi, which until this time period was tied in the front, was now tied in the back.

Kangeki

Nowadays, Japanese people rarely wear kimonos in everyday life, reserving them for more formal occasions such as weddings, funerals, tea ceremonies, or other special events, such as summer festivals.

The Kimono has become a ‘posh’ word for gown and is now a unisex item which is available for young and old of both sexes. It makes a very comfortable alternative to a towelling robe and a practical alternative to relax in around your home after a busy day at work. Silk gowns are soft and smooth to the skin and very light to wear.

Thai Silk Kimonos come in a multitude of colours and are normally reversible, with alternative colours some silk kimonos come with a bold dragon design on the back when reversed, and has pockets on both sides with a wide silk sash tie. The sensual feel and slinky silk material makes the wearers feel very comfortable and enables them to move with ease or just relax on the couch and watch their favourite TV show after a long hot soak.

Sizes are available for adults from S- M- L to XL and XXL and are available for the larger person with plenty of material to wrap around. Children’s sizes are also available from 5 years to Adult.

Silk Kimonos and Silk Gowns from Thailand are very popular and make fantastic gifts for your friends, families and work colleagues so why not take this opportunity to buy a genuine Thai silk kimono for that special gift or just treat yourself. View our Silk Kimonos

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