Tuesday, July 9, 2013

FAQ - What to Wear to a Japanese Tea Ceremony?

Image Sources: Lumikettukimono.blogspot.com, Wafuku.co.uk

The Japanese tea ceremony, also called as Chanoyu, is a Japanese ritual of preparing and serving Japanese green tea, called Matcha. Wearing a Japanese kimono to a Japanese tea ceremony is one way of showing your respect to the host, so here are tips on how to choose the ideal kimono to wear on such special occasion:

Which Type of Japanese Kimono Robe?

Every Japanese tea ceremony is centered around the aesthetic or thought of preparing a fresh cup of tea from the heart. For this reason, it is highly preferred to wear a clean, stain-free, and simple-designed Japanese kimono to avoid distracting anyone's attention inside the tearoom.

An Iromuji, which is a solid-colored kimono, matched with a delicately-hued obi sash or belt typically makes for a fine choice for the Japanese tea party host, assistant to the latter. For the guests, but for formal and important Japanese tea ceremonies, married women surely won't go wrong wearing a Houmongi, while the single women a Furisode, or the colorful Japanese kimono with very long arms.

Kimono Color to Choose for a Japanese Tea Ceremony

In general, the Japanese tend to choose the kimono color that corresponds to their wearer's age. Pink, as a renowned youthful color, for instance, are considered a beautiful choice of color for the kimono of a young women, while kimonos with a darker hue, like maroon, are often considered fit for a matured individual.

Kimono Fabric.

Silk kimono would always make for a very fine choice, although it is sometimes considered practical and acceptable to wear kimono robe other than silk, like the Japanese yukata, which is made of cotton, for tea ceremonies during the summer.

Choosing Between a Lined and Layered Kimono.

It is always ideal to wear a lined or layered kimono to a Japanese tea ceremony, including the warm summer months, which considers the Yukata, or the casual and staple Japanese kimono for summer.

Obi-Belt Color and Style

Complement your Japanese kimono with an equally subdued-colored obi belt, or you can go for printed obi belt that feature designs that match the season or the occasion for which the Japanese tea ceremony is celebrated. Again, like the Japanese kimono itself, it is best to shy away from brightly-hued obi belts, or one which can distract anyone during the Japanese tea ceremony.

Kimono Length and Size

Choose a Japanese kimono that is high enough to give you an Ohashori, or a fold beneath the obi sash, and ensure that the kimono is of a sufficient size, so that it will not show your legs when seated on the floor or when you stand.

Enjoy being a part of a Japanese tea ceremony and make it one of the most memorable occasions that you have been into.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

How to Care for Silk Robes?

Your silk kimono robes and kimono-style robes can definitely keep their elegant sheen, vibrant color, and investment piece-quality with these best-kept secrets on how to care for silk robes:

Hang your silk kimono robe after every use on a hanger and air-dry in a cool and shady place. Be sure to check for sharp edges on the hanger or close to the hanging surface, especially while on travel, so as to avoid touching the robe onto the same, which may cause it to run or rip. 

Image Source: MySuperficialEndeavors.BlogSpot.com

Dry-clean your silk robe using a gentle and biodegradable dry-cleaning agent that is suitable for silk. Ideally, test the strength of your dry-cleaning agent by dotting just a small part of the reverse side or inside of the robe that will not be visible when the robe is worn, should staining might occur.

If you must have to wash your silk robe, use cold water that has been diluted with gentle, biodegradable fabric soap. Rinse several times to remove the soap suds and never wring nor tumble-dry your silk robe in order to remove the excess water. Rather, just let the excess water drip naturally. Again, hang your silk robe on a hanger that has a smooth surface and is not prone to staining and let it dry it on a shady spot to avoid its color from fading.

While not actually necessary, iron your silk robe on its inner side and over low-heat to avoid its color from easily fading. Again, to prevent damage on the visible areas of the robe, test the heat of the iron on a small area of the inside of the robe so that if any damage might occur, such will not be visible from the outside of the robe or when the robe is worn.

Iron your silk robe, when necessary. Image: MEA.Philips.com

When not intending to use your silk robe for a long time, store it in an acid-free environment by placing sheets of acid-free paper in-between the folds and outside the finish-folded silk robe to prevent its fabric from oxidizing, which can cause the yellowing of the fabric or the formation of brown stains. If an acid-free paper is not available, you can also surround your silk robe with silica, which helps to absorb the excess moisture from the environment.

An acid-free storage box makes the perfect container for silk robes that will not be used for a long time.
Image: Touch of Europe, Amazon.com

To remove stains from silk robes, remember to avoid scattering the stain to the other areas of the fabric and to exercise proper precaution when attempting to remove the stain, considering that silk is a very delicate fabric, so any mistake can possibly result in a mess.

Dilute lemon or vinegar in water to clean minor stain from silk robe.

With fresh liquid stains, blot the stain with tissue paper and dilute lemon or vinegar on a basin of water. Dip the stained area immediately onto the same to remove the stain or use a gentle stain remover. If possible, bring your silk robe immediately to a professional cleaner to avoid incurring further damage to your special clothing. 

Article Source: Best-Kept Secrets on How to Care for Silk Robes

Know the popular types of silk fabric that is used to make the finest silk robes from Asia on KimonoRobeStore.com.

Friday, June 28, 2013

How to Shop Kimono Robe for Kids?

Image Sources:

Types of Japanese Kimono for Kids

Japanese Kimono. Originally, the term kimono translates to "clothing", but now, it refers to the silk, straight-cut, ankle-length, wrap-around style garment that is tied at the waist with a thick sash, or obi belt. It is typically worn over at least one (1) inner garment, called the nagajuban, and features long and wide sleeves, which distinguishes it from other kimono-style clothing.

Friday, June 14, 2013

The Furisode Kimono

Furisode, which translates to swinging (furi) sleeves (sode), is the type of Japanese kimono robe with long, flowing sleeves that hang down from the arms up to the calves or ankles and which is sewn onto a small part of the kimono as compared to other types of kimono, thus its tendency to sway or flutter.

The Evolution of the Design of the Japanese Kimono

Let's step into the colorful world of the Japanese kimono robes with a brief history of the evolution of its design through the ages.

What started out as a Japanese kimono?

In the olden days, the Japanese term, kimono, literally translates to 'something to wear' and encompass the different types of clothing that were normally worn by the Japanese, but now, it has come to encompass the various types of clothing with a wrap-around design, including the traditional Japanese clothing, bathrobes, and modern-style dresses that is closed at the front in an overlapping style.

The Japanese Kimono and the Basics of This Japanese Traditional Clothing

A beautiful display of Japanese kimonos. Image: http://photomill.webs.com/pictures-japanese-kimono.html

The Japanese kimono can be considered today as one of the world's most beautiful and expensive traditional clothing, and its beauty comes not merely from the breath-taking colors and features of its design, which emphasizes its wearer's taste for class and modesty, but also in the painstaking manner by which each of them is made, which reflect its artisan's eye for beauty and expertise in creating a one-of-a-kind Asian clothing that is able to transcend both time and culture.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

DIY Paper Lantern Crafts

Think your paper lantern need more touch of awesome? Check out these DIY paper lantern craft ideas and decorating styles for your paper lanterns, which are so easy to make - you can apply use them with new or old paper lanterns, especially those extras from your wedding, birthday, and other special occasions.

Paper Lanterns with Butterflies

MarthaStewart.com, ChelynChic.BlogSpot.com, AllThingsHandmade.org

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

7 Asian Gifts for Men - Perfect for Fun and Play!

Still having a hard time looking for gifts for men? Why not amuse him with these Asian gifts, like Chinese game sets and Japanese gifts, that are made for fun and play, he definitely can use them to entertain his family and friends, or let you steal a fun, couple-time together.

Mini Mahjong Set.

Mahjong Set from AsianIdeas.com.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

How to Shop Silk Kimono Robes

Image: TheWomensRoomBlog.com

The mix of art, luxurious comfort, and Asian style clearly makes for the silk kimono robes' East-meets-West aesthetic, and whether you love them as resort wear, bridal robe, or bridesmaids' robe due to their statement-making designs and fluid, silken fabrics; as lounge wear because they are so comfortable plus easy to wear and wash; as travel robe because they are so lightweight and suited for all seasons and climates; or, as Asian gifts because they suit all lifestyle, silk kimono robes are definitely at the core of every modern woman's wardrobe as an everyday essential or a style staple.

Wedding Parasols: A Tradition in Asian Weddings

Unknown to many, Japanese umbrellas – particularly the red and oiled paper umbrellas – have long been considered as a traditional element in Asian weddings, and they were used to cover the bride upon her arrival at the wedding ceremony venue, which practice is believed to shield her from the evil spirits, or as a dowry, particularly among the Hakka people of China, who would give them in pairs to wish the newlyweds good luck, happiness, and the blessing of male sons and many grandsons.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

How to Wash a Japanese Yukata

Japanese Yukata, also known as the "casual kimono" is a highly versatile traditional Japanese clothing. It is distinguished for its light fabric and casual design, and while renowned as a summer robe, it can actually be worn at different times of the year as a bath robe, summer robe, travel robe, or a summer kimono on your trip to Japan.

One of the ways to keep your Japanese yukata looking clean and good as new is by washing it properly, and Kimonoholic Tina helps us on this with the following tips:

Monday, April 22, 2013

Happy Earth Day 2013

Image Credits: EarthDay2013Pictures.com

In honor of Earth Day 2013, so I'm giving us Asian crafts and Asian products that we can make and are made from recycled materials.

Origami Cranes

Image Credit: PhotographyBlogger.net: 21 Creative Origami Pictures

They say that folding a thousand origami cranes and hanging them on your wedding can make your wedding wish for a lifetime of happiness come true. Crane birds are considered as a mythical creature in the Chinese culture and they are believed to be a symbol for happiness and loyalty.

Image Credits: How to Origami Crane Mobile.

Recycled Handbags, Wallets, and Purses

Left: Doybags Philippines Woven Recycled Juice Pack Bag. InspirationGreen.com
Right: Recycled Cosmetic Travel Bags, $25.50: AsianIdeas.com

Left: Recycled Tote Bags, $28.00. AsianIdeas.com
Right: Recycled Rice Bag Wallet, $18.00: AsianIdeas.com

Recycled Lanterns

Left: Recycled Cocktail Umbrella Lanterns from Paper & Twin Crafty Design.
Right: Recycled Tin Star Lantern from Thailand. AsianIdeas.com

Recycled Jewelry

Finally, my favorite:

Recycled Necklace and Bag made from soda tabs. Kultura Filipino.

So, which one do you like best? Know more recycled products from Asia? Tell me more about them on the comment box. Happy Earth Day 2013, everyone!:)

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Asian Garden Decorating

Image courtesy: Chicago Home+Garden: Designer Matt Lorenz Designs an Elegant, Family-friendly Home in Lake View

Just when you thought that a tranquil space within your city home is hard to achieve, this Matt Lorenz Design side yard as featured on Chicago Home+Garden Magazine sends a moving inspiration that an outdoor space where you can be one with nature and where you can savor the feeling of being in an Asian garden in the West is at all possible.

With this brilliant garden masterpiece's brimming beauty, recreating it, somehow, seems to be a DIY challenge, but these Asian home decor and Asian garden decorations tell us that we can give it a shot:

L-R: Wisteria Chinese Garden Stool, $129; Waterproof Shoji Screen, eShoji.com

L-R: Keter Corfu Patio Love Seat, $128.24;: Sears; 7-Tier Bamboo Pyramids, $60.00: AsianIdeas.com

Giving your outdoor space an Asian twist is also quick and easy with these Asian garden decor and design ideas on how to use them for your Asian outdoor decorating:

Pagoda Candle Holder.

Asian Garden with a pagoda candle lantern-lit Chinese bridge from The Style & Design of Dean Yoder.
To try: Yukiwa Pagoda Candle Lantern, $176.00: AsianIdeas.com

Asian Pagodas are, typically, the place to find the most beautiful Asian gardens, and they rise across Asia, inevitably turning simple outdoor spaces from simple to picturesque. You can bring the idea of a garden made grand by an Asian pagoda to your home by decorating a pagoda candle holder. They are usually able to withstand both the heat and cold of summer and winter and can work as a garden accent or as a walkway light.

Zen Garden.

Image courtesy: Garden Mentors on Houzz.com To try: Petite Zen Garden, $6.00: AsianIdeas.com

Give your outdoor space a touch of zen, or a view that transmits a feeling of tranquility at any time of the day, by reserving a space for it for a sand-and-stone zen garden. To make: Fill a garden space with white sand or pebbles, rake it to make wave-like patterns, and arrange the stones on it neatly. You can also opt for tabletop zen gardens and make it a habit each day by drawing your thoughts on your tabletop Japanese zen garden.

Asian-Style Garden Bird Feeder

Left: Hanging Pagoda Bird Feeder, $17.50: AsianIdeas.com
Right: Avant Garden Cupola Wild Bird Feeder, $6.00: Sears

Delight the cheerful, chirping birds that visit your garden with Asian-style bird feeders that can be hung like a tiny home from the branch of a tree or sit at your garden like a mini fountain. Asian bird feeders are typically made of wood, so right to give your tiny visitors a cool, temporary shelter during the warm summer months and frequently stylish enough to grace your yard with colors and style.

Candle Lanterns.

Left: Emperor's Teardrop Candle Lantern, $21.50: AsianIdeas.com
Right: Black Scrollwork Moroccan Candle Lantern, $8.00: AsianIdeas.com

Achieve the nostalgic nature of the Asian gardens at night by illuminating the walkways, garden tables, and dark corners with the golden, soft, and warm glow of candle lights. Asian candle lanterns are typically designed with glass walls or carved metal panels so your candle's flame is protected from being extinguished by the outdoor breeze, plus they make for a decorative Asian garden decor during the day.

Chinese Lanterns.

Fuchsia paper lanterns set the mood for a colorful evening by the poolside. AsianIdeas.com Party Lanterns

Give your outdoor space a soft and warm glow of light at night with the help of Chinese lanterns or Chinese paper lanterns. They come in a great variety of colors, shapes, sizes, and styles, and materials, like nylon, which withstand the outdoor weather.

Water Fountain.

Left: Zen garden with Fountain and Buddha Statue Building a House: Front Patio Ideas
Right: Hand of Buddha Fountain, $50.00: AsianIdeas.com

According to a Chinese folk tale, having a water fountain on the East of the house helps to keep the family healthy, it invites prosperity when placed on the southeast, and fosters a successful career when placed on the north. Water fountains do not only make for a beautiful addition to every indoor or outdoor garden, the sound of flowing water specially amps up its relaxing ambiance.

Final Tip:

Reward yourself with an outdoor space that is ready to nestle you at the end of the day or during the weekends with the relaxing touch of nature. Remember: Simplicity is key and arrange your Asian garden accessories in such a way that allows the positive flow of chi.

Asian garden inspiration from Atlanta Water Gardens.