Horrible stuff I've done to restore a kimono, haori and etc.

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Horrible stuff I've done to restore a kimono, haori and etc.

Post by IG Team » Thu Jun 16, 2016 5:10 am

NAME: MISCHIE

I just want to know if I'm not the only one here that has gone against some recommendations to get a kimono to look new again.

I admit, I have bought a garment even though it's horribly stained and wrinkled because I fell in love with the designs on it.

When I can't get a stain out with a gentle soap, I have painted over it with fabric paint. It's a difficult challenge, a last resort, it's effective, and I'm bold.

I have also ironed out very stubborn wrinkles in a much higher heat with a paper barrier.

I know painting will most likely reduce the value of a vintage garment though I tend on wearing all the garments I buy. :katana:

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Re: Horrible stuff I've done to restore a kimono, haori and etc.

Post by IG Team » Thu Jun 16, 2016 5:10 am

NAME: SARCASM-HIME

I think that's fine. If you're not going to sell it as a collector's item, and it's unwearable otherwise, why not? I have modified pieces similarly in order to make them wearable.

Edit: I wouldn't try risky things on pieces that are VERY old and unique (like anything that might belong in a museum).

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Re: Horrible stuff I've done to restore a kimono, haori and etc.

Post by IG Team » Thu Jun 16, 2016 5:11 am

NAME: SOUPERGROUPER

When my vaguely steampunkish houmongi came, it was covered with weird stains (from either tea or soy sauce?) and had been dumped in a box or something for ~years.

It was synthetic (or, at least, I think that it is), not too old and I wanted to wear it, so... Into the washing machine it went!

I know it's kind of a no-no, but there are times (CAREFULLY SELECTED times) when a trip through the washing machine works wonders. I think that it still has some stains, but it's nice and squeaky-clean- and the ordeal did NOT damage it at all.

Beyond the cleaning, though, I tend to be pretty finicky about doing too much to authentic kimono. (If you've ever seen dub Pokemon: remember that quote from Team Rocket, "We have a fine tradition of failure to live up to! >:0 " ...that applies to some of my kimono craft projects. Actually, to quite a few of them. >__<;)

I've also scrubbed watered baking soda into a beloved white-based obi in a last-ditch attempt to remove some stains, which were there when I purchased it. I *think* that it may have lessened them a bit, but I think that the Hints From Heloise baking-soda miracles only work on yofuku. (At least I had the sense not to try vinegar!!)

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Re: Horrible stuff I've done to restore a kimono, haori and etc.

Post by IG Team » Thu Jun 16, 2016 5:11 am

NAME: MISCHIE

It's good to know I'm not that crazy.

SuperGrouper: I've put cotton yukata in the washing machine with out any problems too.
Some of items have water damage and re-dyeing felt like the best choice I've made. I've found bleach stains on a syndetic komon. Though soy sauce satins seem to be the most common problem in my collection.

Keiha: I've had seams fall apart with one of my haoris, so I know that feeling of stitching it wrong. I've never added a new design to my kimono but I've thought of buying a really cheap kimono with none to barley any designs and adding to it. One thing that baffles me is seeing kimono for sale with yuzen designs that don't match up in very obvious places.

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Re: Horrible stuff I've done to restore a kimono, haori and etc.

Post by IG Team » Thu Jun 16, 2016 5:12 am

NAME: TORAHIME

How would you guys feel about someone making a dress out of a houmongi? I have one that is just phenomenal, cream-colored with gorgeous shibori waves, but has VERY conspicuous soy sauce stains on the left breast, right collar (high up), front of the sleeve, and knee. I want to take it to an alterations shop and make a nicely fitted evening gown out of it, since I'm not good enough at sewing to make something like that...but I want to preserve its gorgeous pattern and make it wearable again. It just looks dirty and mottled otherwise.

As for yukata, I've found that either handwashing gently or just putting it in the washer with a touch of vinegar on the rinse cycle with low spin only has produced good results; but I never, ever put them in the dryer. I lay them flat to dry and then press them very lightly, since they wrinkle something fierce.

I also had beer spilled over my synthetic odori kimono and washed it in the washer with just a tiny bit of vinegar. It has gold detailing which wasn't disturbed by the washing, and the beer stains and smell came out fine.

I must admit I've no experience trying to wash anything silk-based.

I should probably add that I have a front load washing machine and would never in a million years believe that washing with a top-load (agitator) washing machine would be safe for a kimono of any kind, no matter how sturdy.

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Re: Horrible stuff I've done to restore a kimono, haori and etc.

Post by IG Team » Thu Jun 16, 2016 5:12 am

NAME: KIIRO

Recently I have been tearing up over my pheonix houmongi (i posed about it in the general care thread). its filthy stink. i gave it to a friend for a few months, and when she gave it back, to my horror i found out that her version of storage was balling it up in an open plastic bag and tossing it in the corner of a cupboard which i swear must have moths! it smelled horrible, had MORE stains (mostly dirt and air moisture spots) and was wrinkled terribly. to get out the wrinkles and smell hanging it up for 5 days did the trick...but i am left with the dirt.

1) i experiemented with spot cleaning with water, and i had some success on a major stain but i felt like i wasnt being drastic enough.
2) today, i got a wooden cutting board (out of my kitchen) layed the kimono collar flat accross a table and proceeded to clean it.
3) i used detergent. i know that is a no no, but being a science student i am painfully aware of how they operate and how much i have to gain if i use it and do it right.
4) i used a dish washing sponge, an electric toothbruth and various rags. exposed the entire collar (in three parts) to water and LOTS of soap sudz... i scrubbed it with the sponge and toothbrush depending on the amount of dirt. then cleaned it off
5) after which, i pulled out my blow dryer, set it on cool and sat down for perhaps an hour and a half carefully blowing out all the water before it could stain the surface silk (too bad for the lining though, i'll fix that later don't worry)

and i've got to say, it looks MUCH better than before. its bright and blue!and most importantly clean! did i mention it has gold leaf? i was brave enough to scrub the gold leaf with the toothbrush to see if it would come off and it didnt even budge. lucky!
there are still some faint dirt lines on it..but rome wasnt built in a day. when it dries completely (i just did this...btw) i will most likely repeat the process again another day. and now...i gotta say the rest of the fabric looks even filthier against the very clean collar. so i will take a deep breath and clean the whole thing...bit by bit. if i fail...burn burn burn!

*edit* the purified water i used on it....was BROWN when i was done.....
*edit 2* guys please don't try this out. this was an experiment and every single thing i did was carefully calculated and controlled...if it turns out to really be successful i will make a post about it detailing what i really did and why i did it. until then, i will not be responsible for anyone ruining their kimono.

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Re: Horrible stuff I've done to restore a kimono, haori and etc.

Post by IG Team » Thu Jun 16, 2016 5:13 am

NAME: I just washed my cream chirimen shibori houmongi. It was nerve-wracking but to spare you the suspense, it survived - and admirably, I must say!

The kimono has some very bad stains on the collar, left front sleeve, and knee. Soy sauce or something; could even be oil or grease. Whatever it is, structurally the kimono was in great shape but those stains were terribly distracting.

So I did what most people do: I filled the tub with the coldest water I could get from the tap and a tablespoon of organic "delicate" detergent, I covered my eyes with one hand, and stuffed the kimono into the water with the other hand.

I just swirled it in the water for a minute or so to fully saturate and then attacked the collar stain with a toothbrush and additional organic detergent. I brushed in the direction of the grain of the fabric (it's chirimen) gently but did not have ANY luck with any of the other stains in this manner. So I rinsed the kimono, strung it up on the shower curtain (and added another rail below in order to hold the bottom open and to reduce the stress-weight of the wet silk) and let it drip dry.

Unfortunately, while I did get plenty of dirt off the gross thing and it looks much cleaner anyway, I did not manage to get rid of the stains - and they are just too glaring.

When the kimono dried, it seemed to have become kind of - fluffy. Yeah, I don't know. Fluffy. As if the outer side was separating slightly from its lining...but I happily didn't note any shrinking or damage from washing, or even any dye-bleed. So! It was terrifying, but it worked!

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Re: Horrible stuff I've done to restore a kimono, haori and etc.

Post by koneko » Sat Sep 29, 2018 11:35 am

Okay, brace... I once washing-machine dyed an entire silk uchikake with black dye--and I don't even feel bad about it! :creepo:

I bought it because I thought I should have one of the more modern-style uchikake for my collection - you know the type, lots of gold with massive cranes flying across it - but I made the classic mistake of buying just for completion, not because I loved the piece. Don't get me wrong, I window-shopped for months before I chose the least gaudy one I had seen, but when it arrived, I hated it. I love old Taisho stuff, and though there was nothing wrong with it, it just wasn't my thing.

I sat and glared at it for a few weeks, and eventually got out the silk paint and began to single out individual elements and darken them by hand with a paintbrush and holdout gel, but it was never enough against the huge amount of bright gold that formed the base of the entire kimono. Finally I thought 'sc*#w it', and bought two packets of machine-wash silk dye, and just threw it in the washing machine, padding and all! Didn't even stitch the seam folds flat or put support tacking in.

I have to admit that I've been a costume maker for thirty years and done my fair share of dying, both small quantity and meters-at-a-time, so I had a reasonable idea of what I was doing in terms of where the dye would take well, where it would take weakly, and where it would be repelled...but there was also a huge gob of resentment for that damn uchikake egging me on.

I knew that the gold was too bright, and I knew that the wrapped gold thread was weft-only in the weave, so if I dyed it, the presently-red warp thread would become black, which would have the effect of not only generally toning the whole thing, but would reduce the ability of the gold to refract red (red brightens gold, which is why when you do gold leaf work, you paint the area you intend to cover with red underneath; it 'lifts' the gold). I also knew that the huge white cranes hurtling all over the design would be rendered completely black, but was okay with that, too. Plus I knew that the lining was a silk/poly mix, so it wouldn't take entirely there. I gave the fabric barely half the amount of dye that it needed by weight (but the entire correct salt amount to fix, by weight), so as a whole I figured that everything wouldn't come out solid black, but everything would be knocked back. And also if it died, I would gleefully cut it up and make cushions...

Of the few kimono I've put near water and fervently wished for their survival...that was, of course the single one that did. It came out perfectly. Took almost two weeks to dry, but everything was knocked back in color. Everything was muted. Even the over-bright lining had muted a few shades to an even, deep crimson red. The black cranes look wonderfully dramatic, and the green pines have turned the very dark green of real pine needles.

And the moral of this tale: Buy only what you love. Because to this day, I STILL resent the bl**dy thing for coming out fine when my lovely little Taisho ro komon with the jumping koi bled into a sad black blob :gah: :sad:
Last edited by koneko on Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Horrible stuff I've done to restore a kimono, haori and etc.

Post by Amens » Tue Oct 02, 2018 7:21 pm

koneko I would love to see before and after pictures of that!

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Re: Horrible stuff I've done to restore a kimono, haori and etc.

Post by koneko » Mon Dec 17, 2018 1:25 pm

I'm afraid I don't have a before. I usually keep pics of everything, but I didn't for that one. I'll pull it out and take a few 'after' pics tho :smile:

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Re: Horrible stuff I've done to restore a kimono, haori and etc.

Post by Amens » Sun Jan 06, 2019 2:54 pm

koneko wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 1:25 pm
I'm afraid I don't have a before. I usually keep pics of everything, but I didn't for that one. I'll pull it out and take a few 'after' pics tho :smile:
I think I can try and picture how it looked^_^

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