I inherited many kimonos from my family…as an American, what am I going to do with them? I could display one or two, but that takes a large space and then it just hangs on the wall…after a while, it becomes dusty and invisible…everyone you know has seen it, and most are not interested.
Years ago, I started buying old kimonos and taking them apart and salvaging the usable parts for kimono projects. I made sort of patchwork kimono purses and used the fabric to make everything from pincushions to prayer flags.
People who had kimonos that they had purchased on trips to Japan or were given to them by their families started giving them to me to use. I would make smaller items for them that were practical, maybe placemats or a table runner. Still, lots of left over fabric.
I guess it is like an old wedding dress…sitting in a box in the attic does not preserve the memory or the dress. Kimonos can cost thousands of dollars, especially if made of silk, and silk will disintegrate over time. Yes, I am sort of conflicted, but unless their families have a vested interest (if there is even family), all of those kimonos would probably not be used.
I think this is an incredible way to show case the beauty of the fabric and reinvent them into something usable…it is no longer a kimono…they will still exist as long as traditions exists…but as time goes on, so does the memories of the people…you don’t see togas saved and repurposed…
Excellent discussion question!