Thursday, June 3, 2010

Tips for Kimono Newbies: No Repeats

If you're new to kimono and looking for a vintage one online or at a convention, how can you tell fakes from the real ones?

There are many, many ways but here's one of the easiest: If you see an entire rack or web page of the exact same thing, or the exact same thing in different colors, it's likely not a genuine kimono.

There are only two main exceptions to this: high-quality synthetic washable komon (small pattern) kimono, which are relatively new on the scene in modern times, and summer cotton yukata, both of which are cheap compared to more formal kimono and are mass-produced. However, even in these cases neither will ever come with a matching belt made of the same material, as many fakes do. Their overall quality and shape will also look amazing next to shiny satin/polyester bathrobes people are trying to pass off as kimono. ;)

Why no duplicates? The kimono industry is so small (and brand-new kimono so expensive), it's very unlikely you'll ever run across two vintage kimono exactly alike. You may see the same pattern used differently, but exact twins outside of the above situations or dance costumes are rare.

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