Thursday, October 14, 2010

Real or Fake? Soft Obi

Most obi (the sashes worn with kimono) are firm enough to hold their shape and tie and form into various stiff knots. Occasionally, you'll see things advertised as obi that are soft and more like thin cloth than brocade, floppy, or textured. Are they real?

They can be: I'd say the biggest clue is material. If it's satin or shiny silk or is made of the same material as a kimono sold with it, those are fakes.

Real soft obi come in a few different categories, two of the most common being "heko" obi and "shigoki" obi. Heko obi come in men's, women's and children's varieties and are tied in a simple dangling bow or knot, and shigoki obi are making a small comeback as an accent obi worn with another obi for women's kimono, also tied simply.

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