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Guide to the Different Types of Kimono Silk

December 15, 2018

Vintage silk kimonos are a great option for everyday loungewear or your favorite robe because they’re both easy and comfortable. The types of kimono silk out there are abundant, and it can be easy to get overwhelmed in knowing what you’d want if you’ve never purchased before. Here’s a quick guide that will have you shopping in no time!



Silk chirimen is a popular fabric for kimonos for two reasons: it drapes well, and it doesn’t wrinkle. Over 500 years ago, the weaving technique used to make Chirimen was developed in Japan and ever since the silk has been used to make kimonos. Chirimen is thick and heavy with an uneven texture because of how it is woven.

Kimonos made of meisen are often the ones with bolder colors and designs. This technique was developed around 1868. The process for making meisen kimonos became mechanized, and thus this type became available in Japanese department stores at the beginning of the 1900s.

Vintage Chirimen Kimono Silk Fabric ThisBlueBird

Vintage Meisen Kimono Silk Fabric



Kinsha takes on the qualities of chirimen as a fine and light silk crepe. Due to its smooth texture, this type of silk kimono will most often have painting or detailed dying in its design.

Omeshi silk kimonos are top quality. The heavy crepe silk fabric can often be difficult to find as it’s rarely crafted today. Discovering vintage Omeshi silk kimonos are a treasure. Don’t miss out on what ThisBlueBird has to offer—all our kimonos are vintage.

Vintage Kinsha Kimono Silk Fabric Vintage Omeshi Kimono Silk Fabric

Ro & Sha Silk

Are you looking for a summery kimono? You’ll definitely want Ro or Sha silk. Ro is created by a combination of braiding or twisting threads and skipping rows, to create a striped effect and a semi-sheer airy fabric. Ro is light and soft and drapes well. Sha is a gauze fabric that similar to Ro, but without the striped effect and has a stiff feel. Below, left; Ro silk. Right; Sha silk.

Vintage Ro Kimono Silk Fabric

sha silk kimono fabric



Rinzu silk can be both light-weight or heavy as the silk satin damask fabric consists of two different types of silk threads. Rinzu is often used to make silk kimonos with geometric, floral patterns or shiny, subtle repeating patterns on matte backgrounds. Urushi is unusual because it’s often metallic—either in the typical gold, silver, and bronze or a whole rainbow of colors. These colors can be muted on some silk kimonos or vibrant on others.
Vintage Rinzu Kimono Silk Fabric Vintage Urushi Kimono Silk Fabric


Due to uneven thread widths, Tsumugi silk takes on a rough and rustic vibe. The fabric is time-consuming to make and therefore expensive to purchase. This type of kimono is perfect for you if you’re looking for something durable and comfortable.
Vintage Tsumugi Kimono Silk Fabric


Here at ThisBlueBird, we offer a variety of types of vintage silk kimono robes and cardigans. They are top quality and vintage, so even ones hard to find elsewhere like Omeshi are waiting for you. If any of the above fabrics sound like something you’d love to lounge in, don’t waste any more time. Head over and start shopping today!

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