FAQ -- Frequently Asked Questions About Our By-Pound Kimono Packages
BEFORE YOU BEGIN: Is this your first time considering vintage kimonos for wear or a project?
If so, we strongly recommend that before reading the specifics of any one type of our bulk vintage Japanese kimono packages or fabrics that you start with this FAQ page. It might take some time to read, but you'll surely make a better purchase decision once you are better informed about the unusual artistic world of vintage Japanese kimonos -- a fascinating and different sort of product. So we hope that before you study any particular package here on YokoDana Kimono that you'll take the time to read what follows.
ABOUT THESE FAQ: The following are the result of years of questions from site visitors and customers about our vintage Japanese kimonos. We encourage all prospective customers to read these carefully as they truly give a fuller sense of what you're getting in our bulk vintage kimono packages.
What are Vintage Kimonos? These are all worn / used / old / recycled for purposes of upcycling Japanese garments, sold in bulk; bulk kimono packages are meant for cutting, artwork, design, crafts etc. and mostly not for wear, though often are used for casual wear (see each package type description for details); Each package differs as to count as we sell at wholesale rates by the pound.
Do you ship kimonos in bales? (How do you pack them?): NO, we do not ship in bales. All our bulk package vintage kimonos are folded neatly and packed in sturdy cartons. We actually pre-sort in Japan and at that time all are folded. The only exception may be an occasional piece which is a remnant or partial garment. Since there is no bale wire or strapping compressing the kimono, there is no concern about damage to the fabrics or having to remove wrinkles -- which is what happens when vintage kimono are shipped or stored by the bale.
Many of our kimonos have been cleaned prior to our receiving them in Japan; others may have been in storage so may have musty odors and be slightly wrinkled (see elsewhere about other aspects of condition).
Comparison Shopping-- Will I get my money's worth?: In these difficult economic times we know how important it is to shop around, to look for best quality for the best prices. We routinely study our internet competitors and find that our prices are the lowest by far on the internet for bulk kimono of our calibre, and our customers rave about the quality of our selections.
We can afford to do this because we have no middle men, operations at primary sources in Japan and ship from our USA office. And, we are told so often that our by-pound kimonos -- meant for crafters, designers etc -- are 'too nice to cut'. We encourage you to study all our information, visit our competitors, and we're confident you'll prefer our value, quality and friendly customer service. Also, as we ship from the USA, our shipping costs and transit times are favorable.
Can I see pictures of what's in the by-pound packages? It is important to understand that each package is unique. We have them pre-sorted in Japan according to our specifications, and then fill each order from what is on hand here at the time each order is processed. But, to give you a general feel for what is in a bulk package, we do have pictures of a few real orders of A Package before we shipped them out. So, to see what we call our Virtual Warehouse Tour:Go to Virtual Warehouse.
How about your present customers? How do they like this product? Read how others felt about their bulk kimono orders on our unsolicited Testimonials page.
Do you ship internationally? We have shipped to every state in the United States, most US Territories and a large number of countries.
How long does it take to receive my order (Processing & Shipping Transit Time)? At present we are able to ship between 5 and 10 business days from confirmed receipt of payment -- sooner of course if we can. Transit times for customers' actual receipt of packages are dependent on US Postal Service shipping transit times. International customers should also keep in mind that sometimes packages are delayed in your country's Customs.
The demand for our bulk kimono packages has steadily grown since we began offering them in 1998. Initially, when the numbers of orders were fewer we were able to always ship in 3 days from receipt of orders. However, the volume of orders has grown substantially so now it takes us longer to get them out the door. We ourselves do the final sorting and shipping (Yoko alone makes the final sorting choices, so only a certain amount of orders can be done daily); Therefore our response time varies throughout the year, being slowest in fall through early spring.
As a person who works as a textile artist involving dye work etc., I like to work with pure natural silks. When you say you include 'mock-silk synthetics' in the A package, how many will there be? First some background on this: In the 1960's and 1970's, as the cost of natural (labor intensive) silks rose with increased demand within Japan, the Japanese fabric industries began experimenting with blends of synthetics of all sorts with natural silks, as well as all synthetic fabrics which were made to replicate the look, touch and feel of true natural silk.
Some of these synthetics and blends are so good that even those experienced in identifying fabrics have trouble distinguishing them. Also, as the older silks (all natural silk) steadily become fewer and fewer, their costs naturally rise. Also, with the advent of the internet and on-line auctions in Japan, many there who would have recycled old silk garments now are selling them directly instead of giving to recyclers. This results in fewer all-silks in the 'vintage pool'.
But to get to your question, our "A Packages" are comprised of mostly all-silks and silk blends, with a minority of mock-silk synthetics, the latter being included only when they are higher quality and aesthetic value. We do also offer finer by-piece vintage silk pieces from the 1930's-60's in the different collections you'll see in our site catalog which are devoted to pieces. Hope that helps.
Where do you get all these old kimono(s) for your by-pound packages? Please read our Home and About Us pages to learn more about Yoko and how she works closely with her family in Japan. Her family's network of alliances within the Japanese antiques and textiles trades serve us well. Also, her family has been in the recycling industry in Japan for some time. Our sources for these kimono are from throughout Japan using our connections in the Japanese recycling industry as well as other sources (auctions, markets, store liquidations, estate sales, family network, etc.)
These connections enable us to get prime and timely access to good volumes of these old kimono ahead of many Japanese dealers and brokers. Also, as we need no 'middle-man', we are able to procure these for substantially less than most other brokers or wholesalers, who must go through brokers, travel to Japan, etc. We bring the bulk package kimonos in directly from Japan about once a month, depending on the time of year and demand. We now fill orders almost daily for the "by-pound package", many to repeat customers.
What do you mean by "vintage"? When we say "vintage" we mean what recyclers of used clothing call, "Grades 1-3 used"; These kimonos are used, worn and vary from 50+ years to 10 years old; Some of them are 'deadstock', meaning they may be 10-50 years old, were never sold and are like 'new', but just have been on a shelf or in storage somewhere for years. None of our pieces are shredded or cut "rags"; Almost all pieces are intact kimono of all sorts with the occasional coverlet or remnant (for example, kimonos may have the occasional sleeve missing).
In general, who buys these vintage by-pound kimonos from you? Many of our customers are quiltmakers. In addition we sell to many designers, couturiers, dressmakers & artists. Many buyers are groups of quilters who gather together to make a purchase. We have supplied costumes to several professional stage productions, festivals, a professional costume company, and other individual performers. We also supply makers of everything from bags, vests, scarves to kitchen decor pieces. We also sell these bundles to other small businesses who then take them apart & either make new items, sell kits to quilters or resell them locally as vintage garments.
Why aren't you including obi in the by-pound anymore? Sorry, we no longer include obi (sash) at all in our bulk kimono packages. The demand, even in Japan, for vintage obi has risen dramatically.This makes it harder & more costly for us to get obi.
How much flexibility do I have in choosing what goes in the mix, within the specs you list on your site (for example, can you give me all silk, or mostly red and bright colors)?(This question applies mostly to our A Package, ladies silk package) Some background information before I answer this one: We are basically a small family business. We are not set up in the US to do large-scale processing/sorting. We pre-sort these in Japan before they are shipped here. We do the final selection for each order by hand here. Since we buy in volume, selected to be fairly balanced across all the different types & criteria, if we were to deviate, then soon we would not be able to give all customers a balanced mix. In general, we cannot deviate much from the way we describe the bulk packages in the product specifications sheet. Your best bet is to let us know what you're looking for and we can tell you if we can meet your needs.
I used to get bulk kimonos by the bale somewhere else, but they went out of business. Can you send me bulk kimono in bales? We prefer not to bale these vintage kimono/fabrics, particularly the silks. In fact, we bring them into the US in boxes; these are not baled from the time we get these in Japan until we seal the box for shipment from our Delaware location in the USA. We do not like what the baling wire or strapping does to many of the older fabrics, so even when we ship to customers we use boxes. All items are folded or laid flat in the carton. So, in a nutshell -- we do not bale our bulk kimonos.
How do some of your customers use these kimonos creatively? The uses are varied. Many quilters use them, but designers and artists use them to make a wide variety of fabric art, textile creative projects, clothing and accessory items; we also sell to commercial dress-makers who use them to make dresses, tops, and accessories. We keep a running list of the ways customers use our vintage kimonos and fabrics.
If I am outside the USA, will you accept returns of my order of bulk kimono? INTERNATIONAL CUSTOMERS: Sorry, no returns accepted for international/off-shore orders. We STRONGLY urge you to check your local postal, customs and import process and fees and read our terms for overseas customers. We know from customers that Italy has prohibitive duties on silk packages so we no longer ship there, and UK can be assessed high duties and VAT etc. if your shipment is selected for close screening upon entry through customs. This doesn't happen often to our UK customers but has in the past. We can tell you our experience as to customs or fees of customers from your country so please feel free to contact us.
Read all the information and STILL not sure about buying bulk vintage kimono by pound? If so, check out a blog page we posted in the past, Yoko's Pre-Purchase Guide to Buying Vintage Kimonos.
Have you read all the info here and in the specific product pages, seen pictures of sample bulk kimono orders? Do you still have a question about our bulk kimonos -- or anything else? Then follow the links immediately below. Or, please send questions or comments to us HERE.Top