How to Care for your Kimono
If your kimono arrives and has a musty or mothball smell you can try doing the following:
1. Air it Out
Take your silk item outside and let the air get at it to remove the distinctive aroma of mothballs. You will want to avoid placing it in direct sunlight, however. Find a shady spot where you can hang up your item. You can also place it on a clean sheet or towel on the grass if you wish.
2. Pack it With Baking Soda
Baking soda will get rid of the smell of moth balls, but you will need to give it at least a few days to work. Place your piece of clothing in a plastic bag or a box. Pack it with enough baking soda to cover it completely. Leave it in place for several days before removing from the container. Sniff it to see whether it carries the tell-tale smell of moth balls. If you still smell the stale smell, put it back in the baking soda for a few more days. Over time, the baking soda will eventually absorb the smell, but you need to be patient.
3. Activate Charcoal Odor Absorber
Another way to get the smell of moth balls out of silk clothing is to buy some activated charcoal. You can find it at home improvement or pet stores. Place it in a shallow dish at various points around a room. Hang up your silk item and leave it for at least a few days. The charcoal will absorb odors from the room and get the smell out. This isn’t the best option if you want to wear the item right away but if you have some time before you plan to put it on, go ahead and let the charcoal do its work.
4. Vinegar and Water Soak
Follow the steps above but add one cup of white vinegar when washing.
If your silk kimono develops a stain or odor, it can be difficult to remove.You can (carefully) try to clean the cloth yourself, but be warned, many things can go wrong. The chance of getting a stain out of a vintage kimono without damaging it is very low. Due to silks delicate nature, very few products are safe to use on it , so we definitely recommend a good dry cleaner over hand-washing.However, if you must wash ,we can share with you the common practices we know.
NOTE: ALWAYS TEST CHECK A SMALL CORNER OF YOUR KIMONO OR HAORI FIRST BEFORE WASHING! SOME OF THE SILK HAS BEEN HAND DYED SO WHEN SUBMERGED IN WATER IT WILL COLOR BLEED ONTO THE OTHER COLORS OF YOUR GARMENT.
1. Start off by filling a bucket or tub with water, you don’t want it to be warmer than 30 degrees Celsius because hot water can damage silk.
2. Add a small amount of detergent, preferably one specially designed for silk but a baby shampoo will work as well.
3. Put your kimono in the bucket and swirl it around for a few minutes, focus on the marked area and very gently try to remove the stain. Make sure that you don’t scrub it or leave it in the water too long as this can affect the silk and stitching.
4. Pour out the water and add fresh cold water to rinse your kimono. Do not run silk under running water. The force of the water can damage delicate silks.
5. Be very careful when removing the kimono from the water as it will be much heavier when you take it out and lifting it in the wrong way (for example from the sleeves) can cause damage to the seams because they aren’t made to support that much-added weight.
6. To dry the kimono, carefully hang it on a bar so that the weight is very evenly distributed and let it drip dry, if you’re in a rush you can lay it down between 2 towels and try to get some of the moisture out faster. Try to keep your robe out of direct sunlight as this can cause the silk to fade and absolutely don’t tumble dry!!
7. If you find that your kimono has lots of wrinkles, you can iron it on a super low setting but we suggest putting a thin cotton sheet between the iron and the silk as too much direct heat will make the silk shiny. Also iron on the reverse side, so that the outer silk doesn’t come in direct contact with the iron. We’ve steamed some of our kimono but do this with caution as steam irons can spit and this will leave instant watermarks all over your precious silk.
Storing your Kimono:
Place a sheet of acid-free paper in between the folds of your kimono as this minimizes the threat of mould and damp damage. Store in a dry, dark cupboard(away from sunlight and heat) with a few anti-moth traps or insect repellants.