Kimono is made from one roll of fabric, which is very narrow but long.; about 14 inches wide 12½ yards long. It is traditionally made of silk, but wool, rayon, polyester and other synthetic fibers are widely available. Less expensive and machine washable kimono is also available, but silk is more popular and considered desirable.
Mainly there are three kinds of kimono silk material. They are called as " Chirimen, Habutae and Tsumugi."
Chirimen is a traditional weaving technique that was developed in the late sixteenth century in Japan. The cloth has the unique feature of soft wrinkles. the wrinkles are created by alternating two types of silk thread, twisted in different directions, by turns in the weft. The woven cloth is at first flat, but the wrinkles suddenly emerge after rinsing dirt out of the thread. This is the moment when the breathtaking beauty of the wrinkles is born.
These wrinkles are called "shibo" in Japanese. The shibo also appear because the weft (the thread being woven) is ten times thicker than the warp (the set of lengthwise threads). Chirimen is mostly used for finely made kimono. However, now chirimen is also used as a material for pouches, wallets, bags, and other fashionable Japanese goods.
Chirimen with rough texture is called Oni Chirimen, which means “ogre Chirimen” in Japanese. It is usually used for Furoshiki, wrapping cloth. Softer Chirimen, Hitokoshi Chirimen, is used for women’s formal kimono. Rinzu is shiny like satin and is a kind of Chirimen. It is used for women’s fancy kimono. Depending upon how threads are spun and woven, there is wide variety of Chirimen. Chirimen is classified into six levels by weight, the lightest one is 18.5 oz and the heaviest is 31.7oz per roll.
Chirimen also divided into several sub category :
- Hito Koshi chirimen
- Yu Zen chirimen
- Kin Sha chirimen
- Oni chirimen
- Real Silk
- Habutae Habutae is woven with non-spun silk in a plain weave. It is very soft and smooth. Heavy Habutae is used for men’s formal kimono. It is so durable that it is possible to be taken apart and re-sewn into kimono several times over and can be work for a long time. Thin Habutae is not durable as heavy kind but due to its soft texture, it is mostly used for Kimono lining. It is also used for dyed Obi.
- Tsumugi Tsumugi is made of Tsumugi thread. It is made from regular silk fiber in contemporary Japan. However, originally, Tsumugi thread was made of low quality silk which is not appropriate for high quality textile. It has knots and lacks luster. As Tsumugi has rough texture it is not suitable for dying but it is dyed before woven into fabric.
- Nishijin-Ori Nishijin ori is the highest quality and most luxurious kimono fabric type of all. Kimonos made from this fabric are typically worn at weddings, state functions, and important ceremonies. It is made from gold or colored brocade on silk, and it is well-known for its beauty and sophistication. To make nishijin ori, more than 20 different steps must be taken. Designs are made using stitched yarn patterns that are then dipped in high-end dye and applied to silk. Due to its delicate nature, nishijin ori must be hand washed in cold water. When ironing, a low setting should be used. Typically, kimonos of this type are hung to allow contact with fresh air. Nishijin ori fabric, along with other types of kimono fabric, can also be stored by folding them into tatoshi paper, a thin, tissue-like, Japanese paper form More information in Japanese