History of Kimono



My personal history with kimono began at 1 months old, here with my parents. Then at 15 I was dressed in full traditional kimono (furisode) for my uncle’s wedding. 

For me kimono is the link with the culture and history of the country I geographically left behind many years ago.

Now a huge amount of my time is spent sourcing and working with vintage kimono and creating wearable clothes for 21st century mainly for myself only.

A quick history lesson and a few other facts:


Me at the age of 15 with my cousin

During the 8th century the influence of Chinese clothing introduced the kimono into Japan.

The basic style and shape hasn’t changed since the Edo period in Japan (1615-1868). All in rectangles in 2D and assembled to become 3D. Magic!

Kimono were first worn by the Samurai and soon adopted by the merchant and artisan classes.

Originally it was worn by commoners and by the aristocracy as an undergarment.

The term Kimono was first used in the mid 19th century, prior to that it was known as a kosode

By the 1870s Kimonos were being exported to the west – you could buy them in fashionable stores such as Liberty’s of London.

Wearing the Kimono is a complex business with many rules. Traditionally daughters learned this from their mothers, now special schools exist to teach this ‘art’.

History researched and outlined by Alison Calrk.