Kimono and obi used to be worn by everyone in Japan. The first shift from kimono to western dress began with the Meiji Period during the mid 19th century. This accelerated during the Taisho Period between World War I and World War II. By the 1950s and 1960s, much of Japan was wearing Western clothes on a near daily basis, with traditional dress being taken out during the summer for festivals, religious ceremonies, holidays, etc. These days the majority of Japanese people still wear kimonos several times a year. It's not uncommon to see Japanese people wearing kimono on the streets, even in major metropolitan cities.
New obi are incredibly expensive. The quality and craftsmanship involved in making them demand high prices. Fortunately for us this same quality in craftsmanship means that obi keep their stunning looks and styles for decades. At L'Obi Designs we spend a LOT of time searching for these beautiful vintage obi that have been loved and well taken care of. We look for the best quality silks with gorgeous patterns and colours with the least wear and tear. Keep in mind that many of of our creations use material that is 20 or 30 years old (sometimes more!), so expect some imperfections. We think that these spots, stains and the occasional loose thread add to the character and charm of your obi and will help make it a keepsake you will love and be proud to display and use for years to come.
Because of the way we source our fabrics we almost never find 2 of the same kind or in the same condition. All our obi runners, hangers and clutch bags should be considered 1 of a kind, if its sold we won't have another one in stock. To avoid heart break at missing out we suggest not waiting too long if you see and item you love!