Kimono robes are currently enjoying a great resurrgence as gifts. Commonly associated with women, these Japanese-inspired luxury robes may be authentically worn by men, women, and children of all ages.
The first kimono styles were greatly influenced by garments worn by the Han Chinese.
As early as the 5th century BC, Japanese diplomats and travelers brought back many Chinese influences and helped integrate these womens robes into Japanese culture.
The modern kimono silhouette has its roots in 8th-century Japan, when the overlapping collar became a standard element of women’s fashions.
Further changes in this elegant ladies sleepwear style occurred in the ensuing centuries; during the Edo period (approximately 1600-1830 AD), the sleeves grew much longer, particularly those found on kimono robes worn by unmarried women.
Kimonos for both genders of all ages are crafted from a single bolt of fabric, which may be highly ornate and is often hand-painted with intricate designs.
Each kimono robe is constructed from four panels: two cover the body, and two form the sleeves.
Extremely large people, such as Sumo wrestlers must either have a kimono made from multiple bolts of fabric, or have their kimonos made from bolts of fabric that are larger than those normally produced.
Children’s kimonos or kids robes are sometimes constructed from the remnants of old adult kimonos; these remnants may also be used to patch other kimonos or to make handbags and other items.
To fit properly, the sleeves of this women sleepwear should fall to the wrists when the arms are at the sides of the wearer. Additionally, the lower hem should fall to the ankles when the wearer is standing.
Traditional fabrics for kimonos include silk, brocade, silk crepe, and satin weaves.
Today, more affordable kimonos are also made from cotton, linen, rayon, polyester and synthetic blends; however, silk is still considered the ideal fabric.
Informal kimono cotton robes may be decorated with repeating patterns; formal kimonos are almost always hand-painted with freestyle designs that cover the entirely of the robe.
Throughout the centuries, these luxury robes have been worn in various ways and with various layers of undergarments being the standard at different times.
Currently, kimono robes are normally worn over a single layer of lingerie undergarments. The design often reflects the season.
Cherry blossoms, birds, or butterflies are worn during spring season. Flowing water designs are worn in the summer. Fall leaves or Japanese maple trees are appropriate during the fall season and plum blossoms or pine trees are winter designs.
Some expensive kimonos are also decorated using shibori, a Japanese tie-dye technique that often appears in tandem with custom hand-painted lingerie and intimate apparel.
Shibori is an extremely elaborate, difficult technique requiring many hours to execute correctly.
For these reasons only the most expensive luxury robe kimonos are created using this technique.