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Thread: How to clean and work with vintage kimono fabrics

  1. #1
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    How to clean and work with vintage kimono fabrics

    Hi: I was lucky to buy some gorgeous vintage silk kimono fabrics circa1960/70's, really cheap on line. I am hoping to use them to make some quilts. What would be the best and easiest way to clean these beautiful silks? Also,I am wondering if I need to steam or iron the fabrics before I work with them. If I have not sewn with silk. Would you suggest I take an online class to teach me how to sew silk? Or is it pretty easy? Thanks for your assistance. I have been chicken to do anything with these fabrics except admire them. Kathy

  2. #2
    Super Member mom-6's Avatar
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    Lucky you! Silk is fairly easy to work with depending on the weave of the fabric. Some may fray rather easily, in which case you will want to use wider seam allowances. You will also want to use a somewhat cooler setting on your iron (silk!). Steam and a press cloth will take care of stubborn wrinkles should they show up. You can wash silk using the gentle cycle of your washer and dryer or you can hand wash. Have fun with your lovely silk! And show us pictures!!!

  3. #3
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    I have some old kimono. I used woolite and they came out just fine. I am planning a quilt too. I got the lightest weight fusible interfacing I could find, but haven't started yet. I have sewn silk garments in the past. Many silk fabrics will show pin holes, so you can only pin in the seam allowances. Test the iron temp on a scrap. You can get the entire piece of fabric wet and it will be just fine, but with some silks, drops of water will spot, same with steam so again, test first.
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
    Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

  4. #4
    Senior Member Pat M.'s Avatar
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    I made 2 silk quilts for my daughter. She lived in Hong Kong for a while and brought me some fabric. I just used 1/2" seams. I had the fabric dry cleaned before I used it. I also measured it and then measured it afterwards. It did shrink a bit.

  5. #5
    Super Member calla's Avatar
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    I purchased some kimonos and obi's to cut up for things..............um...........haven't done it as the pieces are just too darn gorgeous..................it would be sinful.........

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by calla View Post
    I purchased some kimonos and obi's to cut up for things..............um...........haven't done it as the pieces are just too darn gorgeous..................it would be sinful.........
    I agree....knew someone who hung her treasure on the wall of her office...quite impressive.....somethings just must remain as they were originally done......

  7. #7
    Super Member cashs_mom's Avatar
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    I have several kimono and haori jackets. I wear mine as they are and have one child's kimono hanging on the wall. I have purchased kimono pieces and sewed with them. As someone mentioned, a lightweight fusible interfacing helps to give them a better hand and also to stop the fraying. There used to be one that would fuse at a low temp that I used when I put some kimono pieces in a garment.

    They're so beautiful. I'm sure they would make a wonderful quilt or wall hanging.
    Patrice S

    Bernina Artista 180, Singer 301a, Featherweight Centennial, Rocketeer, Juki 2200 QVP Mini, White 1964 Featherweight

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