View Full Version : The Obi: What is up with this thing?

09-03-2002, 11:10 PM
Can't find a nice site/pattern/book anywhere (ok, sure haven't been looking long.. but still!) about how to tie a nice obi let alone make (sew from scratch) a real one. Are there any expirenced persons out there with suggestions?

09-03-2002, 11:34 PM
This is the tutorial that we made for our site.
We took 4 yards of fabric cut down the fold and ended up with 2 obis. Here is a pic of the finished product. (http://www.paper-wings.org/gallery/akon13/kogal/side.jpg)
Tying an obi isn't as hard as people think it just takes a couple of practices ties. Let me know if there is anything else we can do for ya!

09-03-2002, 11:38 PM
Ringo-chan, you're too darn fast. XD Same post, same post...

09-04-2002, 06:35 AM
I'd suggest going to the source and buying some Japanese books on the subject - that's what I started doing as soon as I started trying to do Kenshin-era costumes and whatnot. "The Book of Kimono" is one of the very few instructional books available in English, and that will show you how to tie a taiko bow with a Nagoya obi, but not much else. If you go to www.fujisan.com and go to the English catalog, you can search "Books" under "kitsuke" (kimono dressing) or "obimusubi" (obi tying). You won't be able to find any books in English, but you should be able to find plenty of books with detailed step by step photos. Of course selecting them is kind of a crapshoot, but I've found everything I've ordered has given me *something* I wanted. Wearing a kimono correctly also requires a lot of specialized hardware, but you probably know that already. :) (Another good word to look for when you're trying to sort out the list of kimono books is "hajimete" - "beginning!")

09-04-2002, 06:37 AM
Oops - almost forgot. Whatever you use to make the obi, make sure to use a really heavy, sturdy fabric inside - heavily starched cotton duck works pretty well. The idea is to have no wrinkles at all. The ones I have from Japan appear to be lined with something approaching asbestos. :)

05-04-2003, 01:31 PM
Ringo-- Your tutorial rocks!! I was looking EVERYWHERE for something that explained how to tie Obis--Yahoo, Google, AskJeeves... *sigh* Cosplayers to the rescue... ~_~ Makes me wonder why I didn't try here to begin with...


05-04-2003, 03:06 PM
this is quite interesting ^_^

and so is this but it's really hard to use this =/


05-04-2003, 08:05 PM
Not sure what kind of costume you're using it for, but the obi that looks like a giant bow is usually used for yukata/summer kimonos, and is more informal (and usually worn by little girls~~) You can also buy those for a decent price with the bow seperate and ready to attach with a clip.

I think Yuffieleonheart posted a really good site on how to tie the Taiko obi, which is worn by women and more common/less casual. It's a little more of a pain in the ass to tie, and you need a thicker, heavier fabric like Koumori said =) Heavy silk brocade worked well for me, and it comes in so many intricate patterns, and usually has a reversed side, which works perfectly for an obi~

My friend and I actually made a fake taiko bow, for her Tomoe costume, because we had so much trouble getting her in and out of the kimono and it was the dead heat of summer. We basically just split it into two parts, making the bow a seperate piece, that was stuffed with either a square pillow or a large piece of foam (both worked pretty well~). Then we'd just wrap the belt part around her and attach the bow when she was ready to go. It's kind of copping out, but if you're as lazy and easily frustrated as I am, it might be a good last resort ^_^

Good luck with everything!

05-04-2003, 08:30 PM
I don't think making obi bows in two parts is copping out - they're commonly sold in Japan, and I think that's probably how most women who don't wear kimono very often manage. :) And that's how I do it, when I have to. One of my first cosplay attempts was trying to dress a friend as Kenshin's Kaoru, and I nearly gouged my eyes out with a tablespoon after a couple of tries of trying to tie her obi something-close-to-properly.

05-04-2003, 08:59 PM
LOL. Strangely, I got to bow one pretty right the first time around (sure, it took a half hour, and that was tying it without the kimono on, and it wasn't smoothed out perfectly), so I'm assuming I just had beginner's luck!

I hope it works out that well Thursday morning! ^_^;;

05-04-2003, 09:32 PM
You have no idea how furious I was when I came to do my Shigure costume and discovered that the shell knot the men usually use is a !@*#*&^!#&^ SQUARE KNOT.

05-04-2003, 10:17 PM
Hmm. I was under the impression that the bow/cho-cho knot was for umarried women, and that the drum/taiko style was worn by married women. Then again, I have just recently started learning the ways of obi musubi. I should invest in a book on the subject... I heard there was a nice kitsuke book exclusively covering obi musubi. I think it had 50 varieties, and good graphical instructions. Only downfall is that it's in Japanese.

edit: I also thought children had an entirely different, much less complicated way to tie their obis. Then again, I have yet to find instructions on how to tie it, so I'm not sure what it is.

05-05-2003, 06:23 AM
Foofy bows aren't appropriate for older or married women, but the taiko bow can be worn by anyone.