How to Fold a Kimono

Many years ago, when I first went to Japan as a student, a Japanese lady named Michi-o tried to help me in a lot of ways. She is the one who came up with the joke to remember “Doi tashi mashite” meaning, “you are welcome.” She said to remember it just say, “Don’t touch my mustache!” She also taught me the proper way to fold a Japanese kimono. With all the things she was teaching me, she kept telling me I would make a wonderful Japanese wife which never happened, but she was very nice to me. I have wanted to show you before the proper way to fold a Japanese kimono, but when I started my blog, I was in Korea, and there was so little space in our apartment, there was just not enough space to do it right, so I ended up hanging my kimono in the closet instead of folding it. In Japan, they kneel and fold their kimonos in the floor in a tatami room which is fine because there are never any shoes of any kind, not even house shoes, in the tatami rooms. However, even though there is more floor space in America, I never fold my clothes in the floor in America because everyone wears shoes inside in America. When we stayed at the hotel last night, I slept in a big bed, and there was enough room on the bed to fold the kimono properly, so I thought it was time to teach you how to fold a kimono properly, according to the Japanese.

My kimono is a yukata, a summer kimono made from cotton.

the first step is to completely lay the kimono flat. The back should be on the bottom, and the top should be lying flat over it. The sleeves should be laid flat out on each side of the kimono. You can see lots of wrinkles in my kimono because it hasn’t been taken care of properly. At this point, it had been in a suitcase not folded properly.

The first fold

The first fold you are supposed to make is to find the seam that runs down the front of the kimono. You fold it back all the way from top to bottom at that seam so that just in that place, the inside of the kimono is laid face up.

Making the second fold

For the second fold, you fold the kimono right down the middle from top to bottom along the place where you folded the front of it. There should be no new creases. This folding method is made to take good care of your kimono and not put wrinkles in it where you don’t want them. You can see that my kimono hasn’t been that well cared for because of the lack of space I have had. Mine actually needs to be ironed, but if you fold it correctly, you will never have to iron it.

One side folded over on the other

When you do the second fold, one sleeve should be put exactly over the other. The fold should be exactly in the middle of the kimono straight up and down. The flap that you folded over initially is inside, and it is still in place because that is where you folded the top over on top of where you folded the flap up.

Both sleeves folded back onto the kimono

The next thing you should do it take both sleeves and fold them back over onto the body of the kimono. They should be folded on the seam at the shoulder where the sleeves are connected to the kimono. In this way, there will be no extra creases in your kimono.

Before you go any further, go to the back of the neck of the kimono.

You will want to push the back of the neck inside the kimono.
After you push the back of the neck of the kimono inside, it will look just like a regular corner on the cloth. It will make it lay flatter.
Next, fold the long piece squarely

The next step is take the bottom portion of the kimono and fold it up to the bottom of the sleeves, and then fold the kimono right there up over the sleeves. If you do it right, every side and corner will be flush with the others and be as smooth as if you were just folding a plain piece of cloth.

The folded kimono ready to go into the suitcase//If you are living in Japan, they fold them like this to store them in the closet.

Just keep folding it with the corners and sides flush. In the end, it will be very neat looking, You won’t have put a lot of extra creases and folds into your kimono. Your kimono will stay in much nicer shape than mine has because I haven’t been folding it right because of lack of space. I hope you have a nicer kimono than mine. Mine is just a cotton summer kimono that the Japanese wear everyday for comfort at home and when they do things like Japanese dance lessons, etc. Mine is not so expensive, but they make beautiful silk brocade kimonos that cost hundreds of dollars, an they really need to be taken care of like this.

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