Grey yukata with flower print

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My one and only kimono not bought by myself.

Grey yukataThis grey yukata with tiny flower print is a slight oddity in my collection – it was a gift from someone else.

All my other kimono are ones I’ve bought myself. This one, my friend R bought for me when I began collecting. Sold to her as a silk kimono, it is in fact a synthetic yukata . I’ve done a burn test on it, which leaves a sticky black residue that smells of plastic, but the feel is very cottony, so I’m guessing that it’s polycotton.
This yukata gets a lot of wear because it’s a very practical colour and also has really good drape, and as you may be able to see at the neckline, for working in the kitchen etc, I tie back the sleeves with a tazuki cord.

I made my tazuki from a length of black satin lingerie elastic – about a yard – which I just looped and knotted. I have a number of these hanging up in the house, and in various apron pockets, so I can just slip one on like a jacket and tuck the sleeves in.

The idea of working with your sleeves getting in the way is one thing that puts a lot of people off the idea of kimono, but if you use a tazuki cord, it’s actually perfectly easy to cook, wash up and do the gardening in kimono.

The obi is just a length of polyester that I heat-set into shibori pleats, which gives it a nice amount of both stretch and grip – simply tied in a knot, it holds it shape very well, something like a heko obi.

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