Making one's own Kimono [Men's], etc

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[In the below post, I am referencing Men’s kimono, although I am also interested to hear the experiences of Women who have made their own kimono]

I have recently bought my first kimono, hakama, haori, etc while in Japan (the most affordable and washable polyester versions, of course).  However, while this is well and good, I will be wearing the kimono every week for nigh on the whole day for about 2/3 of the year.  I think the kimono should be fine for now, especially since they are are polyester, but I think that such constant use and, consequently, washing will lead to significant wear on the kimono.

Instead of buying fresh kimono and paying an arm and a leg for shipping on top of the cost of kimono itself, I wonder if anyone has tried their hand at making their own kimono.  I imagine that this would be good only for casual or keiko kimono, leaving the more formal ones to the professionals.  In addition to the obvious cost savings, this would be easier for me than finding a kimono as well- I am 194cm with a yuki (裄) of around 78, 79 cm- other than the cheapest factory-made awase kimono on Rakuten, it is difficult to find an affordable kimono.  It would be nice to choose a breathable fabric, or make hitoe/natsu kimono as well.

If you’ve tried your hand at making kimono, how did it work for you? Was it exceedingly difficult, and was the result usable?

If it worked for you, how would you suggest learning how to put the kimono together (ie the shapes to cut, measurements, stiching styles, etc).  I have two cheap awase kimono to look at as reference (but I cannot take them apart, as I need to use them).

Thank you all for your help!

宜しくお願い致します、

Jaden

  • Marius Frøisland
    I used to have a book in English that explained how to make a kimono. Never did try it out though. I’ll see if I can find that book again.
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There’s a kimono sewing pattern as part of the Folkwear line that’s available for purchase online at sites like Amazon, Ebay, and Etsy as well as Folkwear’s web site. It does say it’s sized for men and women up to 6 feet (183 cm) tall, so you’d probably have to add some length for it to fit you, but I think that should be straightforward enough. I haven’t personally sewn a kimono, but I have sewn a haori from another pattern in that series, and it turned out fairly well.

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