Rectangle Gems: Kimono

I thought I would share another Rectangle Gem hanging in my closet, a Kimono:






This Kimono was purchased by an aunt of mine, now deceased, in the 1960’s or 70’s.  In the time I knew her, she was a person who did not spare costs. She said she had to pinch pennies while growing up and while raising her own children.  In her dottage, she intended to treat herself well.  I’m not sure what store it came from, but I’m sure it was not cheap.  Originally it had a silver beaded belt, which simply fell apart and scattered all over the floor, lost.  She gave the kimono to my mother who is also now deceased.  I used to wear it whenever I visited my mother.  In 1994, my mother insisted that I take it home with me.  I declined, but when I arrived home, some 6 hours later and unpacked my bag, there it was.  I doubt that my mother ever wore the kimono, but she knew how much I enjoyed it.  That’s why she gave it to me, with the original belt.  I’m sorry to say it is my fault that the belt disintegrated and is unreplaceable.   The seams under the arms were particularly vulnerable to stress and strain.  But, for the most part, this lovely silk kimono has survived intact over the years. 


A kimono, at it’s simplisist is 5 rectangles, one for each sleeve, one for the back and one for each front.  I believe that originally it was one for the front which is split up the center and then eased to the back shoulders allowing enough space for a neckline.  A binding of some kind is applied to the front edges and the neckline.  A belt is used to secure the fronts which are overlapped when worn.  I’m sorry I don’t have a diagram of the kimono. 


A kimono definitely gets it’s beauty from the fabric design.  You have only to Google “kimono” to see many lovely kimono fabrics.  The fabric used is also important.  Mine is silk, rayon is also very good.  I think the most important fabric quality is the drape.  The best kimonos drape beautifully but not revealingly so.  It is a soft drape, not a clinging drape. 



The kimono is a simple to create garment with lots of possibilities.  Although my kimono has been used mostly as a house coat, the shape is very versitle and could be used for outer wear as in cold weather, formal wear and casual tops.