The Do's and Don'ts when Cleaning Silk & Viscose Kimonos

Stepping into the world of kimonos made of silk and viscose is like walking into a work of art that has come alive. Worn with grace and respect for tradition, they are both beautiful and delicate, requiring special care to maintain their elegance. In this article, we'll guide you through the important guidelines and precautions necessary for cleaning silk and viscose kimonos. We'll dive into the subtleties of each material, uncover the art of spot cleaning, explore how to handle each fabric, and the importance of soft washing. So, whether you're a kimono aficionado or just starting your collection, you'll find this tutorial helpful and informative. 

Remember, "A well-cared-for kimono is not just preserved tradition, but a story being lovingly told over generations."
  • Understand the intricacies of silk and viscose kimonos
  • Master the art of spot cleaning
  • Learn about different techniques for handling each material
  • Understand why soft washing is crucial

Understanding the Delicacy of Silk and Viscose Kimonos

When we discuss the matter of cleaning kimonos, we need to first understand the delicate nature of silk and viscose materials. Both these materials have their own unique properties that demand specific care techniques. Silk, a natural protein fiber, is renowned for its smooth texture and lustrous sheen. On the other hand, viscose, often seen as a type of rayon, is a semi-synthetic fabric crafted from wood pulp. It carries a silky appearance, but offers more structure than pure silk. 

Remember, one of the most important things to note is that these materials, despite their beauty, are quite delicate and prone to damage if they're not handled carefully. The threads used are often quite fine, which adds to the garment's overall fragility. It's why you should always follow careful and specific procedures when cleaning your silk or viscose kimonos, to prevent unnecessary wear-and-tear or potential damage. 

As is often the case with delicate materials, it is wise to take a preventive approach whenever possible. This could mean taking steps to avoid spills and stains, handling them gently during wear, and storing them properly. A little effort in this regard can go a long way in preserving the beauty and life of your silk and viscose kimonos.

The Art of Spot Cleaning Silk Kimonos

Spot cleaning silk kimonos can be a bit of a challenge, but if done correctly, it can effectively remove stains without causing any damage. For targeted spot cleaning, start by preparing a gentle, diluted solution of a silk-friendly detergent or mild baby shampoo. For every one part of detergent, add fifteen parts, or around a small cup, of cool water. 

Apply a small amount of this mixture onto a soft, clean cloth. Remember, the key here is gentle dabbing, not rubbing. Rubbing may damage the fabric's delicate fibers and ruin the appearance. Be sure to test this solution on a hidden part of the kimono first to ensure it doesn't affect the color or structure. If the cloth doesn’t discolor or the fabric doesn’t warp, it’s safe to proceed. 

After gently dabbing the stained area, rinse with clean, cool water. Be sure to blot the area with a dry towel to absorb excess moisture and avoid wringing or squeezing the fabric, this could lead to alterations in shape and strained seams. Allow the kimono to naturally air-dry, preferably in a flat position and away from direct sunlight to prevent fading. 

Finally, if you feel this might be beyond your competency or if the stain is too stubborn, it's better to turn to a professional. Professional cleaners have the skills and products specially designed to deal with such delicate materials. After all, preserving the pristine beauty and structural integrity of your kimono should always be the primary goal.

Preventative Measures When Cleaning Kimonos

When it comes to maintaining the state of your silk and viscose kimonos, prevention is indeed better than cure. Adopting careful strategies before cleaning can save your precious attire from potential harm. With a few precautions, you can sustain the radiance of your kimonos for a long time. 

Avoid Harsh Chemicals 

Abstain from using harsh chemicals such as bleach or detergents heavy in alkaline. They have a tendency to degrade the fibers of the fabric, disrupting the colors and texture of your kimono. Opt instead for gentle soaps and fabric cleaners, specifically designed for delicate fabrics. 

Test Before You Treat 

Before you dive into thorough cleaning, it's advised to test a small, non-visible patch with your chosen cleaning solution. Apply a small amount and observe the effects on the fabric and color. If there's no adverse reaction, you can proceed with cleaning - safeguarding against potentially damaging the entirety of your garment. 

Reconsider Stain Removals 

Sometimes, the remedy can be worse than the trouble itself. Certain stain removers may affect the intricate designs and color patterns on your kimono. Therefore, ensure that any stain-removing solution is safe for silk and viscose before application, or consider professional cleaning services for stubborn stains. 

Watch Your Water 

Last, but not least, beware of the water temperature. Scalding hot water can cause the beautiful colors on your kimono to run and warp the fabric. Stick to cold water while hand-washing or lukewarm water if you're using a washing machine. Remember - your kimono is a work of art, and deserves to be handled with utmost kindness.

Handling Silk and Viscose: Two Different Approaches

The beauty of your silk and viscose kimonos not only lies in their designs but also in the unique character of their material. Understanding this uniqueness will allow you to bring out the best from each piece while keeping it in perfect condition. 

Fine silk kimonos, having a naturally delicate texture, should be treated with extra care. A regular dry-cleaning process can cause fabric shrinkage or a subtle loss of color vibrancy. It is best to handwash a silk kimono using a gentle soap specifically formulated for silk. Always use cold water when washing silk and avoid rigorous scrubbing or wringing to prevent damaging the delicate fibers. 

Viscose, also known as rayon, is considered as a semi-synthetic fabric. It resembles silk in appearance and feel but requires a different care approach. Unlike silk, viscose can handle warm water. However, it drastically loses strength when wet, making it susceptible to tearing during washing. Handwash your viscose kimono with care, using a gentle detergent, and avoid wringing or twisting it. Instead, gently squeeze out excess water after washing. 

For both silk and viscose kimonos, it's crucial to skip the dryer entirely. High heat is a fast way to destroy these delicate fabrics. Rather, opt for air-drying in a shaded area, as exposure to direct sunlight can cause both fabrics to fade. When it comes to ironing, use the lowest setting possible and always place a cloth between the iron and the fabric to mitigate the risk of scorching. 

Remember, the more carefully your kimonos are treated, the longer they will maintain their opulent luster and grace.

A Gentle Hand: The Importance of Soft Washing

When it comes to cleaning delicate items like kimonos, the soft washing technique is a crucial factor to consider. This technique prominently focuses on preserving the fabric's quality while removing any stains or dirt. 

Ideally, soft washing is a gentle process, lacking in rigorous scrubbing or harsh mechanical processes. Don’t let the name fool you; this method is mighty efficient in getting rid of dust and grimy particles stuck within the fibers of your precious silk or viscose kimono. 

A Step By Step Guide to Soft Washing 

You’re probably wondering, "how do I soft wash my kimono at home?" Fear not, here are some easy-to-follow steps: 

  1. Pour a mild detergent into a bowl filled with lukewarm water.
  2. Gently submerge your silk or viscose kimono into the bowl, ensuring all parts are completely covered in the suds-filled water.
  3. Lightly agitate the kimono with your hands for a couple of minutes to disperse the detergent evenly and allow the cleaning process to take place.
  4. After washing, rinse the kimono thoroughly with clean water. Remember, no wringing or squeezing – just let the water drain out naturally.
  5. Finally, lay the kimono flat on a clean towel. Roll the towel up with the kimono inside to gently squeeze out remaining moisture. Then, unroll the towel and leave the kimono out to dry naturally, away from direct sunlight.

With these steps in mind, you'll be able to maintain the pristine condition of your treasured silk or viscose kimono while making sure it's clean and fresh. Remember, when it comes to soft washing your kimono, kindness and patience are key.


To sum up, taking care of your silk and viscose kimonos can seem like an overwhelming task. Yet, with knowledge of their characteristics and the right cleaning methods, it's entirely achievable. Investor your time and patience into these graceful pieces of clothing, and they will continue to give you joy and wear for years to come. 

Your silk kimono, with its delicate fibers, calls for special attention when it comes to spot cleaning. Remember to err on the side of gentle handling and use chemicals that are specifically suited for silk. 

Viscose kimonos are a different ball game, requiring its own unique approach to keep its shape and shine intact. Soft washing is an ideal method of handling these items. 

Throughout your cleaning process, remember to test before you treat, avoid harsh chemicals whenever possible, and be mindful of your water and washing techniques. 

By adhering to these preventative measures, you can save your precious kimonos from unnecessary damages. Each step you take towards careful handling will elongate the lifespan of these beautiful pieces and keep them in top-notch condition. After all, they're more than just pieces of clothing; they are works of art. 

So, here's to preserving the elegance of your kimonos for the many more occasions to come!