Black wool ensemble with zigzags

My first ensemble is made from tough wool tsumugi.

black wool kimonoMy first kimono ensemble arrived yesterday – this black wool number from Yamatoku (a spur-of-the-moment 99 cent bid).

The kimono is a classically unlined wool kimono, but has quite a high-end, cotton-lined collar with a press-stud (all my other wool kimono have sewn-down collars). The haori is lined with a pretty polyester lining and a very deep hem.

Described as unused, both seem to be fairly modern, but since they had a musty smell from long storage and when I opened the kimono, a silverfish fell out, I decided to take a risk for once and wash them, as they will now be put away until winter.

black wool haoriI’ve never washed a wool kimono before, nor a haori – I’ve always been too worried about the lining shrinking at a different rate from the main fabric, and the dyes leaking – but I popped them into a lingerie bag and washed them on zero degrees on wool wash and they’ve come out absolutely fine. I ironed them while still damp this morning, and they’re now drying on racks, awaiting another pressing once fully dry.

wool tsumugiWool tsumugi is a very tough, slubby, slightly hairy weave (think Harris Tweed only thinner) that is very different from the fine ‘moserin’ (muslin) weaves you see in wool juban.

I got the DH a couple of wool jubans this summer that are very thin – one like a wool challis and the other so thin and fine that it’s almost transparent. He wears both of them over pjs as a dressing gown. This wool kimono, in contrast, must never go anywhere near my skin, I think, or I would be itching like crazy. It is far more like suiting, and will go well over jeans and a sweater in winter.  I might put a black velvet collar on the haori, and possibly on the kimono too, to be on the safe side.

Kimono-haori ensembles nearly always seem to be wool. I don’t know whether I’ll be wearing this kimono and haori more together or more separately, but I can guess that they’ll both get plenty of wear this coming season, for both their warmth and their dark, practical colours.  It is really nice to contemplate livening up my usual all-black and brown winter sweaters and jeans with some bright colours like this red, green and yellow.

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