Care & Cleaning Instructions for Vintage Japanese Kimonos & Fabrics
|What is this page? We have been selling vintage Japanese kimonos and fabrics since 1998. Over the years we have accumulated various tips and info as to the care of these older Japanese garments & fabrics. This is the latest iteration. If you have any suggestions or recommendations to add, please contact us.|
CARE AND CLEANING INSTRUCTIONS:
- TRADITIONAL VINTAGE JAPANESE COTTONS:
A. ABOUT DEADSTOCK & USED VINTAGE KASURI (Ikat) / INDIGO-DYED COTTONS:
When the fabric is called 'deadstock', this means it is from the factory or workshop of original maker, so is 'new', unused, even if it may be quite old. VERY IMPORTANT that for these types of deadstock that you always wash each piece separately by hand -- never wash them with any other fabric. See below for more detailed recommendations on cleaning.
B. CLEANING OF COTTON KIMONO FABRIC (Yukata):
FAQ: Can you tell me if your cotton kimono fabric is washable? Machine washable? Color-fast? That is of course an important consideration for a summer kimono.... (This applies to rolls/pieces of cotton kimono fabric which we have in our web store.)
Answers to your questions, with some elaboration:
Yes, washable, BUT, treat the fabric this way when washing vintage cotton fabric pieces—
- Hand wash fabric pieces separately in cold water, using low amount of very mild soap or old-fashioned Woolite(TM).
- NEVER let the fabric sit in water for very long, remove it immediately after washing it.
- DO NOT wring water out, instead, gently press water out and lay fabric on towels, flattening and pressing to get excess water out.
- OR, as alternative: Do not wring, but press out excess water, then tumble dry (no heat) until a bit moist, then lay flat.
- Then let fabric fully air dry, making sure to smooth the surface.
- When laying out to air-dry do NOT have it in direct sunlight when drying.
- About the option for machine wash: The only thing that we can recommend using machine wash is for our yukata (summer cotton kimono): Wash cold, gentle cycle, tumble dry no heat.
If it is still a bit wrinkled after washing & drying, use low heat iron to press it, but to avoid making the fabric shiny, put a thin cotton towel or some such over the fabric before ironing. This way it can be neatly pressed & not get that shine to it.
- OTHER about indigo/kasuri: Sometimes the older indigo dyed fabrics can bleed many times when being washed, but with each wash the fabric becomes softer.
- TRADITIONAL VINTAGE JAPANESE SILKS:
About Cleaning Vintage Japanese Silk kimonos and fabrics--
99% of the time it is recommended to professionally dry clean vintage silk kimonos. This is because so much depends on the age of the fabric, and even on the age and type of thread used; furthermore, it matters as well as to whether it has been dry-cleaned before -- so, we recommend dry cleaning. Even then, we have used local Asian / Family-run cleaners who do the cleaning in-house; this way we can communicate things specific to the garment / fabric being cleaned. Chain dry cleaners that do not do the cleaning in-house may not be a good choice unless you can be assured that your directions are followed carefully.
- Other tips/info about vintage kimonos and fabrics are on our website:
List of answers to questions about our kimonos and fabrics over the years(rather extensive):
Recommended links and information about broader themes of Japanese Culture, Kimonos etc:
Our Site Map (Alphabetically):