One of my favorite exhibits at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston is the Japanese Arms and Armor collection… because it’s where they also keep several kimono. So beautiful. So priceless. So likely to get me in trouble if I touch them.
Lucky for me, vintage kimono fabric is available elsewhere without the bother of glass cases and security guards. I found out about online shop Ah! Kimono when I came across Maitreya’s cute flower pin on Craftlog. Ah! Kimono imports used and vintage kimono from Japan and resells the fabric.
Owner Cheri Bridges describes the founding of Ah! Kimono as follows:
In the ’80’s and ’90’s a person could buy 200 lb. bales of used kimono. The very idea of that seemed so amazing, but what would I do with that many kimono I wondered. I really just wanted a few of them to line some hand woven garments. In 1991, I was taking a garment class with a wonderful group of adventurous women. We decided to split a bale of kimono so that we could learn more about the textiles.
Ah! Kimono offers five different fabric packs that include cuts of different sizes, from 4×6 inches to 14×28 inches. Most of the fabrics are silk or silk blends. You can select a color family or ask for a pack split between two color families.
They sell kits for a folded purse and a small bag, as well as monthly and quarterly fabric clubs in case you are troubled with an excess of disposable income.
You may be thinking to yourself, “What would I do with kimono fabric?” If you are, set aside two or three hours and search for “vintage kimono” on Etsy. You’ll find a wealth of crafty inspiration for using these gorgeous fabrics. Here are a few of my favorites Etsy folks who use kimono fabric:
(Remember to use other crafters’ designs for inspiration, not duplication, unless you have permission!)
Other Posts About Reusing and Remaking Clothing
[Image from Ah! Kimono.]