One of the many things kimonos can be upcycled into is an infinity scarf. These can be quite exquisite and full of detail, showcasing the expertise of the original designers and creators of the kimono fabric.
Hanami Clothing has a range of gorgeous designs, and we’re focusing on this double loop design today. This design is made out of four vintage kimonos, and features flowers, a traditional village, and more.
Hanami Clothing makes all of their spectacular designs in the heart of kimono culture – Kyoto, Japan – and all of their kimonos are sourced from local shop owners.
Upcycling kimonos into other things can be quite time consuming, because it takes at least three hours to fully disassemble and straighten one kimono. Vintage kimonos also can have a few stains on them, as dust can cause permanent damage, as almost all silk kimonos become permanently damaged if cleaned with water, and, even then, dust that has been sitting for decades is too difficult even when cleaning and re-dying are done (or when specific water cleaning techniques are performed). This makes upcycling kimonos even more difficult than most other clothes.
Silk also generates yellow age spots after a number of years, which can stick out quite a bit. Kimonos are oftentimes remade into new ones using old fabric, but these age spots and other stains make it so each successive kimono has to be smaller and smaller. Sometimes, two kimonos with the same design can be made into one or the fabric will be made into other things, like obi – kimono belts – or pillows. If you walk the streets of Kyoto, especially around small shopping areas, you just might see some of those pillows out and about.
When Hanami Clothing makes new things out of old kimonos, they work around all these problems and try their hardest to make sure every clean and sturdy piece of the kimono is used. That said, there is always the chance that small tears, holes, misprints, etc. may be seen. Some of these are from traditional silk manufacturing and dying techniques, but sometimes they’re from prior use as a kimono.
Oh, I didn’t even mention the best part yet!
This double loop scarf even has a hidden pocket, so you can safely travel around the world, hiding your wallet, cell phone, and keys where nobody would think to look.
I’ll be back soon with more info on different upcycled things here in Kyoto, made from obis, haoris, and kimonos.