Vintage kimonos online shop

kimono detailThere used to be shop in Neal St, a long time ago, called Neal St East. No, not the same as the East chain of shops that now have a branch near Covent Garden market; Neal St East was something else. It took up four floors of a complex emporium where goods from China, Korea, India and Japan were piled up in chaotic profusion, like an Eastern bazaar that had taken it into its head to migrate to what was then a quiet back street. I used to love it, not least for the racks of vintage kimonos on sale. Now vintage is becoming an increasingly acceptable choice, Neal St East is gone, taken over by a shoe shop. But it’s still possible to get your hands on vintage kimonos if you know where to look.

Vintage kimono

Online kimono seller Vintage Kimonos was set up by British expat and long-term Japan resident Jo Wilkinson, following the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Tohoku in 2011, as a way of helping rebuild the local economy and communities. The company sources vintage silk kimonos from all over Japan.

vintage kimonokimono detailSome are sold as works of art in their own right, at prices that range from a very affordable sixty-six pounds to over three hundred pounds.

vintage kimonokimono detailBut the real point of the company is to help people get back on their feet, so they work with local support groups in Tohoku, one of which teaches disabled people clothing manufacturing skills such as pattern cutting and hand finishing. Another group set up a sewing cooperative after the disaster, doing beautiful hand sewing. These groups now produce new clothes, bags and accessories using kimono fabric.

vintage brocade bagdress made from kimono fabric cushions made from kimono fabricAlthough they’re based in Japan, Vintage Kimonos prices its goods in pounds and delivers in the UK. They’ll also do custom designs, where you can choose your fabric from their range and have something specially made from it. Or just buy a kimono to wear or to hang on the wall.

vintage kimono

13 thoughts on “Vintage kimonos online shop

  1. Oo – lovely – this all looks very tempting. I must not!!!! I simply love these vintage textile designs. So many of them look like they’ve just stepped out of an Utamaro woodblock print. How wonderful it would be to wear one!

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  2. Reblogged this on Denny Sinnoh and commented:
    Still on hiatus! I am having coffee and checking all my messages today. I am feeling so guilty for not having a “Kimonos on Monday” today, as I am taking a short break from blogging.
    Somehow, a great throw of the cosmic dice has saved me! FRAN posted this on Sunday, so I am going to re-blog it while I still have some Monday left in my time zone : )
    Coffee. Hiatus. Do you think that coffee causes hiatus the way it causes halitosis? Ever notice how closely related the words HIATUS and HALITOSIS are? Yet, once again I digress …
    For those of you who are recent subscribers to my blog, please check out Fran’s blog!!! You will find many interesting posts about of Japanese art and culture. Also, she “writes more gooder” than me …
    I suggest reading all of Fran’s posts on her “Sequins and Cherry Blossoms” in my absence.
    — Denny Sinnoh

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  3. Thank you so much for this Fran. I remember Neil Street East shop and used to love going there. Interesting that the japanese absolutely love British vintage and we absolutely love Japanese vintage! Beautiful photographs with lovely details. I remember buying an old kimono in a market in Japan for 1,000 Yen in the 80s, hey ho ….

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