In Japan, colorful silk kimonos with beautiful patterns are often passed down from mother to daughter, and sometimes purchased for coming-of-age ceremonies and weddings. However, while some women still wear kimonos on a daily basis, in most cases, kimonos presented as gifts from parents are sadly destined to stay in the drawer and not see much use after that. Sometimes it won't even be in the daughter's new home but will go back to the mother's house for safekeeping.

But vintage kimonos don't need to be stashed away forever. Upcycling kimonos which can no longer be worn is an excellent way of giving them a new lease on life. Kimono fabric can be repurposed into everything from accessories and bags, and even sandals and sneakers.

Kimono remake Hanamizuki

Or you could upcycle your vintage kimono into a gorgeous parasol, for use (perhaps on special occasions) or for decorative purposes within your home. For some time, "Kimono remake Hanamizuki" has been offering an upcycling service transforming kimonos into parasols, other clothing items, accessories, and goshuinchō (special books to collect seals from shrines and temples).

Online service begins

Until now, the service has required customers to visit their store in Ichinomiya City, Aichi Prefecture. However, with the new lifestyle imposed by the novel coronavirus pandemic, they are now offering their parasol service online, making it more convenient for those who are self-quarantining or limiting their travels.

You can be guaranteed to receive a one-of-a-kind parasol which takes advantage of your vintage kimono's patterns to the fullest.

You can choose from their standard plan or their "high class" plan. Both of them use Japanese zelkova wood in the central stick but the standard plan features a handle made of a sturdy, smooth wood whereas the "high class" plan features a handle made with a more elegant knobby wood and ribs and stretchers in silver and black, which can also be colored to your liking. All sticks, ribs and stretchers are certified by the Japan Umbrella Promotion Association. Moreover, your parasol will come with its own customized case made of the same kimono fabric.

For normal kimonos, the standard plan parasols cost 24,800 JPY + tax for manufacturing while "high class" plan parasols cost 26,800 JPY + tax. There's also an option to upcycle hitotsumon (single crest) heirloom kimonos with a single family crest printed on them into parasols, and this costs 32,800 JPY + tax for the standard plan and 34,800 JPY + tax for the "high class" plan. A 3,000 JPY fee is also charged for dismantling your kimono and converting it into usable fabric.

For details on how to order, visit their website here.

By - Ben K.