Jun 24, 2013

How I saved a kimono with water stains

Welcome in!

First off, some backstory: On 14-16 June I had been at Desucon, an anime convention in Finland. I wore kimono there and so a good majority of all the things I had in my suitcase were kimono stuff. Now the problem is that Desucon is known for always happening to be on a rainy weekend and so on the last convention day, Sunday, just when the convention ended it started raining a shitlot.
I had a carpool with some people from Lahti to Oulu (about 500 km) and then I stayed overnight at Oulu and took the morning train home. Now during the overnight stay in Oulu I noticed that somehow my suitcase had managed to leak or something you know, let in the rain water. Fuck. I arrived past midnight in Oulu so I was too tired to do a proper check but my pyjama t-shirt was wet for sure.
When I got home I took out my stuff and noticed to my horror that my off-white tsumugi silk kimono had these rather large water stains running on top of both shoulders, front and back. You know, when you can see the "wave/line" where the water was. It's a bit more obvious on one side than on the other. I tried taking some photos but it doesn't show up well, it was a lot more noticeable in real life.

It doesn't look that bad on photos (the pictures dull/blend the line into the fabric's color) but it was bad enough in person that the kimono would have been pretty much unwearable. I wanted to try saving it because I had barely gotten to use it before this accident and light colored men's kimono are hard to come by anyway. I did get it cheap and it already had stains on the lining prior to me owning it so I was also ready to count it as a loss, in case I couldn't do anything to fix it. But of course I was still horribly afraid of ruining it even further; but without that much to lose I decided to try and do something.
I checked around online for any kimono care stuff but didn't find much, at least not in English. I asked at Immortal Geisha and got some cool advice there but I decided to try something with the stuff I already had at home first and well, that wasn't much.
I happened to have bought a gardening spray bottle with adjustable spraying options earlier for cosplay purposes but figured it might be useful for kimono rescuing. So I filled it with cold water and screwed the spray option on the "smallest" setting, which means it just does this spray mist thing. With that I took the kimono, hung it up in the bathroom and sprayed around the stains, making sure to just wet it a little and not soak. A few puffs here and there and then I waited and let the water do its work. The water did "move" the stain so it looked like it had become a lot paler but the good thing was that it didn't leave a second water stain/line, or well, maybe it did but in that case it was so faded I couldn't even see it, even if I stared at the garment.
I let the kimono dry with the help of an air conditioner (cold air) for many hours and then folded it away when it was completely dry. A week or so later I took it out and gave it another shot of the mist treatment to see if I could get the water stain even fainter. Hell yeah I could!

Again, photos don't do justice but I swear the stains are a lot fainter than before and I can barely see the water lines unless I look for them in person. Before the saving mission they jumped at my eyes no matter where I looked.

 Saved kimono w00p w00p! <3

Not so much more to say, super easy method worth a try if you get some water stains on a kimono. I have no idea how well this would work on a kimono of other fabrics, with designs on it or dyes or anything but on my solid color men's kimono there were no problems whatsoever, it worked like a charm! Oh, and if anyone wonders the lining is the same color as the kimono itself (upper lining cotton and lower silk or something synthetic, I don't know) so I didn't have to worry about the lining bleeding over or anything.

I hope this was helpful! Bye!

1 comment:

  1. Great work saving that kimono!! I'm really glad you were able to get those bad stains mostly removed. :'D Maybe packing your kimono in a plastic bag (such as a "space bag") might help protect them from such water accidents ~


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