Kimono obi (帯, おび?, literally “sash”) is a sash for traditional Japanese dress, keikogi (uniforms for Japanese martial arts), and part of kimono outfits. They can also be seen as decorative wall hangings or have their fine material used to make varying accessories. There are many types of kimono obi, most worn by women. Obi range from 10cm to 30cm in width but can reach lengths of over 4m. A formal kimono obi can cost more than the entire outfit. All embroidery is made by hand and the more brocading the more formal the usage.
The vast majority of kimono obi produced in Japan today comes from a district in Kyoto known as Nishijin. Nishijin has been the centre of the Japanese textile industry since the 15th century. Nishijin is renowned for its brocade, twill and gauze production. In the late 1800’s, jacquard loom was introduced to replace draw loom. The high quality brocade produced by the Nishijin artisans is known as ‘nishiki’, which literally means ‘beautiful colour combination’. Nishiki is characterised by the lavish use of gold and silver threads to make patterns of flowers, birds and traditional geometric designs. Another style of kimono obi produced in Nishijin is ‘tsuzure’ or tapestry. Both brocade and tapestry obis are the most ornate and expensive of all obis.
Make a statement with this limited edition up-cycled Kimono cushion. Each cushion is fully over-locked and sewn with a concealed zip at the base for easy pad removal and cleaning.
Filled with an ethically sourced, Polish-made, luxury quality feather pad. Each piece has a slightly different metallic base so each one is unique.
Extra: We’ve prepared you a guide to symbols in Japanese textiles which you can read here.