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Japanese wedding kimono (in Japanese they are called uchikake) are traditionally very colorful in shades of red and other vibrant colors, liberally embroidered with auspicious symbols. We have many such uchikake in our collection, including some for sale. We have photographed each of these and have photographs available (on loan) for those who are interested in acquiring one of these treasures for display as works of art. Some appear on this website and can be seen by clicking on WEDDING KIMONO or UCHIKAKE.
In recent years, there has been a trend toward pure white wedding kimono, probably influenced by Western white bridal gowns. These white uchikake are made of heavy silk crepe and satin in smooth, faille or jacquard weaves with heavy white embroidery of auspicious symbols (cranes, flowers, pines, bamboo, waves). Some of these white uchikake also have touches of gold, silver or irridescent threads woven into the embroidered symbols. While living in Japan, we were fortunate to become acquainted with the owners of a major wedding kimono shop who allowed us to buy many white wedding kimono at reasonable prices. We have taken apart many of these kimono and offer the panels of kimono yardage, both dyed and undyed. In dyeing the silk, the subtle jacquards and embroideries woven in the fabrics take on a new and more striking prominence. Cost per yard ranges from $12 to $24 depending on thickness of the silk, embellishment to the silk and whether we have done the dyeing. The following photos show one piece before and several after dyeing:
The undyed white piece has a pattern BUT look what happens when dye is applied! Dyeing is easy and the jacquard appears to jump from the fabric. The dyes we use and highly recommend are available from Ginny Eckley at COLOR HUE DYES. These dyes are easy to mix, environmentally friendly, non-toxic and set instantly.
Photographing these is like getting a picture of a black cat in a black room with the lights turned off.
All of these textiles where harvested from either the wedding kimono or the under kimono that is much lighter in weight (think of a ladys slip). All of the fabrics are 14 inches wide, the standard for making Japanese kimono. Since they were harvested from existing garments, their length varries from half a yard to 2 yards. Color ranges from ivory to cream.
The following nine photos are of light weight silk where the price is $12 per yard where design choices are clouds, geometric patterns and chrysanthumums:
The following are medium weight where subject matter is usually cranes or flower carts where the price is $16 per yard:
The following are heavy weight where subject matter is usually cranes or flower carts where the price is $18 per yard:
The following are heavy weight with over embroidery where subject matter is usually cranes or flower carts where the price is $24 per yard:
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