How to clean your treasured Kimono & Obi?

What should we do for cleaning special Kimono & Obi?

You may have a favorite and precious kimono or obi made of silk and wonder how to clean them.

Cleaning kimono is a delicate matter, even in Japan. Cleaners who specialize in washing kimono, obi, and other items related to kimono require high-quality techniques and expertise.
While it may be challenging to replicate the exact process followed in Japan, it is essential to handle them with care, treating them similarly to high-quality silk dresses.

When you inquire about cleaning your kimono with us, the following information will be helpful. Please feel free to contact us!

Important points to keep kimono, obi, and juban clean and beautiful (For fabrics made of silk or using gold threads):

Water-washing is generally prohibited as it can cause shrinkage and color fading.

It is not advisable to wash kimono or obi by yourself. It is better to entrust them to a reliable dry cleaner experienced in handling high-grade silk items.

Cleaning kimono too frequently can damage the fabric. Typically, cleaning once per season or when it becomes dirty is sufficient.

If you encounter stains such as ink, sebum, mud, or water on your kimono or obi, it is best to have them treated by a dry cleaner as soon as possible, focusing only on removing the specific stains without cleaning the entire garment.

Keep your kimono as clean as possible from both the outside and the inside. Wear a “juban” (undergarment) to protect the kimono from dirt such as sweat or sebum, ensuring it remains clean on the inside.

Antique kimono may have weakened fabric and threads. It is advisable to inform the cleaner in advance about any delicate areas.

After wearing kimono, gently brush it and allow it to air-dry in a shaded area.

Above all, try to avoid staining your kimono and obi in the first place. Handle and wear them with care 🙂

Collar of juban prevents kimono from adhering sweat and sebum or others (cosmetics etc.) to kimono.  Sleeves and hem do as well.
The collar of the juban prevents sweat, sebum, and other substances (such as cosmetics) from adhering to the kimono. The sleeves and hem serve the same purpose as well.

We wear a juban to protect the kimono from dirt around the neck, wrists, and hem. Additionally, wearing juban is beneficial for enhancing the overall appearance.

When wearing yukata,

juban is not necessary as yukata is a casual kimono typically made of cotton or ramie (or hemp) that can be washed at home.
(Note: Some types of yukata may be made of silk. In such cases, it is recommended to have them cleaned by a dry cleaner.)


We are often asked “Do you know a good kimono cleaner?” and “I want to get my kimono cleaned in Japan. What should I do?” from overseas.
You also might have been desplayed your favorite kimono for years.

from USA
I have a stain on my kimono. Do you know of a good kimono cleaner?
from Australia
Can I have my kimono washed and altered? I would like to adjust the size and make it larger.

If you are considering sending your kimono to Japan for cleaning, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Mayumi Okamura
Hello, I’m Mayumi, kimono consultant and certified kimono instructor. I will do my best to answer your questions honestly.

Points to consider for maintaining the cleanliness and beauty of kimono, obi, and juban:

When it comes to cleaning, it depends on the current condition of the garment.
  • If it has been displayed in a showcase or exposed, there may be a significant amount of dirt (including invisible dust) adhering to it, not only on the surface but also between the fibers, which needs to be removed.
  • Silk has a low tolerance to light (sunlight, UV, room light, etc.), so the color might have partially changed. Japanese professionals can do their best to restore such color changes.
  • If your kimono is an antique, the fabric and threads may have deteriorated over time, requiring more delicate treatment. In some cases, it may be advisable to wash, smooth, and even remake the garment.

Note: These are general matters and it is always advisable to consult a specialist in kimono care with specific advice depending on the condition of the individual garment. Can we help you?

How can we assist you?

Experts in Japan may not readily accept items from overseas due to language barriers, as many of them are not proficient in English and won’t be able to examine your kimono directly.

In Japan, we typically present our kimono or obi directly to experts for assessment, after which they carefully inspect it.
They then provide a written estimate that outlines the necessary processes and associated costs.
This allows us to decide whether to proceed with the entire process or select specific services.

We welcome various questions and inquiries.
Please feel free to send any questions via our inquiry form or our Contact-us page.

More information about kimono re-tailoring and adjustments for kimono, obi, and juban will be available soon.

*Cleaning in Japan requires cleaning, shipping, and insurance, so the cost will vary depending on the country you live in.

to Contact Us form