Following are some guidelines for proper care of kimono and other traditional Japanese garments such as obi and haori.
- Wash your hands before handling or putting on a kimono, haori or obi.
- A clean neck, arms, feet and entire body is advisable before putting on a kimono, obi, or haori.
- It is customary to carry several handkerchiefs while wearing such traditional Japanese garments. These handkerchiefs can help one avoid touching a kimono directly, spreading over one’s lap while eating, or to wipe stains from the kimono or the hands.
- Exercise caution when reaching for items at a dining table.
- Wear a raincoat in inclement weather.
- Allow the kimono or obi to air out before storing it after use.
- Brush off a kimono with the grain of the fabric.
- Some stains can be removed with benzene, but caution should be exercised, for it can sometimes leave a stain itself, and has harmful short- and long-term health effects.
- Let mud dry first if it gets on a garment. After it dries, brush it off in the direction of the grain of the kimono.
Folding a kimono is a complicated task, but not overly difficult once learned. For good diagrams, please refer to the excellent book The Book of Kimono.