About Obi

About Kimono Obi

Obi are sashes that are wrapped around the waist of the kimono wearer. Obi can be woven or dyed, and vary widely in color, design, width and length.

Obi can be without patterns.

Zentsuu obi feature end-to-end patterns, and may have patterns on both sides.

Rokutsuu obi feature patterns on sixty percent of the length of the obi.

Obi are classified into the following types, in descending order of formality:

Maru obi are constructed of brocade fabric, and is a double-wide obi. The maru obi is folded along its length and has a rigid lining sewn into it. Maru obi, being the most formal, are worn with their most formal kimono counterparts, and are most often worn by brides. Generally 32 cm wide by 420 cm long.

Fukuro obi are double-fold obi. If in the form of a tube, it is known as a honbukuro obi. If front and back are woven individually and then sewn together, it is known as a nuibukuro obi. They can be of the zentsuu or rokutsuu variety. Generally 30 cm wide by 420 cm long.

Nagoya obi originated in the city of Nagoya, and is similar to the fukuro obi in construction, but is a bit less complicated and less heavy. There is a related variety known as the fukuro Nagoya obi, which features cross-stitching. Generally 30 cm wide by 360 cm long.

Odori obi are the longest of all obi, and go with the kimono used for Japanese dances. Generally 31 cm wide by 450 cm long.

Haraawase obi are made from two pieces of fabric sewn together over a rigid lining. Generally 31 cm wide by 420 cm long.

Hitoe obi are one-layer obi with variable width and length from piece to piece (15 cm x 320 cm, 23 cm x 320 cm, and 30 cm x 290 cm).

Han haba obi are half-width obi for wearing under haori or kimono suitable for informal home occasions. Generally 15 cm wide by 320-360 cm long.