Shiro oshima tsumugi/Kimono Biyori


Kimono Biyori
Beautiful days of kimono life

Shiro oshima tsumugi

Shiro oshima tsumugi

 Oshima tsumugi is one of Japan’s three major tsumugi (woven) fabrics. The fabric is made of threads of silk that are pre-dyed before they are hand-woven into plain weaves. Kimono lovers of the pastand present absolutely adore this style as it has a uniquely elegant lustre that is also soft, lightweight, and less prone to wrinkling.

It was originally made by thread spun from waste cocoons or floss cotton, but the ramping up of manufacturing during the Taisho era saw a shift to making all such fabrics with silk thread.

Due to its history of having used such waste threads, kimonos made of this type of fabric are still seen as casual attire and are not often worn at formal events. Considering the thirtyodd processes required to make the fabric and its high cost, one could say that kimonos using this fabric make for the peak of casualwear.

This article will introduce to you a rarer type of oshima tsumugi; one that weaves white thread to create the fabric—shiro oshima tsumugi.

When compared to the usual dark-blue or brown oshima tsumugi, the white iteration is light, stylish, sleek, and fits effortlessly amongst urban backdrops. Some people may equate oshima tsumugi as a fabric style worn by older women, but the white version would look stunning on women of all ages.

I have styled this oshima-tsumugi kimono with a fukuro obi (a double-woven belt) featuring an eye-catching and bold design. The metallic silver neckpiece coupled with the inner collar adds a dash of colour to the nape creating a clean and sharp look. Adding the unique, knitted obijime (a decorative string to hold the obi in place) gives the look an artistic and street-style fashion twist.

How would you style your oshima-tsumugi outfit to suit your unique fashion sense?


Sala Okabe

A kimono stylist who fits, styles, rents, and sells kimonos. Check out her Instagram profile for new kimono style ideas and inspiration for how to enjoy kimonos overseas.
Instagram: @kimono_salaokabe

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