6. What you like and dislike about kimono.
I love the way kimono drape and feel on my skin. I have a lot of nerve damage, so some days I'm OK... and then some days, every gust of air is like knives, it feels like someone is putting out thousands of lit matches all over, and every hair follicle feels like needles are growing out of my skin. O.x Everything. Hurts. And there's no fix for it. The only thing I can do is minimize the pain by wearing fabrics that irritate me the least and not move too much. If I had a pool, that would be one thing, but even then I can only stay submerged for so long, right? My solution is really soft kimono silks. I can curl up in a kosode tied shut with a koshi himo or heko obi and hang out around the house. Even cottons are too rough, and wool is absolutely out of the question. Silk kimono save me on those days.And since a friend of mine has similar issues, I've decided to pursue making him something to wrap up in as well.
I also love how kimono are generally wearable. A properly-tied kimono must be of specific measurements to work on you, but wearing kimono in a modern "high fashion" way means that it doesn't necessarily have to fit perfectly. I recall wearing a black and silver kimono tied a little higher than my knees, worn with black stockings, tall combat boots, and a black obi here in the States. I wouldn't wear anything like that to a Japanese event here, or to Japan (I'd have to dress it up with another obi like I did last time, likely using my pink dragon obi). But if I gain five pounds, my kimono will still fit. My jeans do not. If I grow a few inches, my pants will be awkwardly short. My kimono is not.
|Utamaro, Silkworm Culture #10|
Most of the ones I have cannot be washed, and are impossibly expensive to dry clean. Some colours run or waterstain when they get wet, and I can't risk ruining an expensive piece. The only thing I can really do is try not to get the majority of them dirty or exposed to insects (nearly impossible in Florida), and air them out as frequently as possible. If they start to smell musty, I try to hang them up and burn incense. This has to be done one kimono at a time until I get a garment rack. As I have drawers of them, this is a long, tedious process. I have to watch the cats around my things because they have torn items more than once. Losing the beauty of my turqouise and purple Taisho momiji obi was devastating. And there's really no way to shut them out of the room at the moment. x.x
Then there's folding them. I love wearing kimono. I hate folding them. I need the entire bed to lay them out and put the seams right. There's usually a cat to move, and a tonne of fur on EVERYTHING, even if I freshly washed the sheets. Which means that if there wasn't any cat fur on my kimono before, there will be now. Arrrrgh. So frustrating!
Overall, though, I think the hassle is worth it. Some women starve themselves for the sake of beauty. I just have to stop being so lazy and actually fold and put away some clothes. :P
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