The not-so-itsy-bitsy spider

As anyone who reads this blog regularly has probably noticed, I have a fondness for quirky, odd, or unexpected motifs. Flowers are pretty but unless they’re really bold or interesting, don’t usually grab my eye. Birds I could take or leave. Put a skeleton, or a jellyfish, or insects of some sort on a kimono and I am making obsessive grabby-hands within nanoseconds.

There is only one shop in Montreal that sells real kimono and obi, and the first time I went there I browsed and didn’t find too much that grabbed me. The owner, Mrs. Uchiyama, pointed me towards a bin of obi that were on sale, after she realized I was actually looking for kimono to wear, not “pretty brocade” to use as home decor. That’s where I found this baby.

As soon as I saw it, I had to have it. The spiders are just so adorable and goofy-looking.

The obi itself is a really interesting texture, it’s a single layer but definitely heavy weight, a sort of raw slubbed silk. The spider webs and leaves are painted on, and then the spiders are embroidered over top of that. It’s fukuro width, but doesn’t exactly feel formal to me, due to the rough nature of the base silk.

I’ve only worn it once, sadly. It needs to get more exposure and I’m hoping I’ll have somewhere else to wear it in the near future. I paired it up with my purple net pattern tsukesage, the same one I wore with my koinobori obi. It’s a great, versatile kimono that serves as a showcase for interesting obi.

Please forgive the blousy mess my kimono is making here, it shifted while I was setting up the camera and tripod.

So what do you prefer? Traditional motifs, geometrics, or like me, are you a sucker for the weirder things in life?



  1. I totally love this spider obi and would love to own it myself! Spiders are one of my favorite things, and to have some part of a traditional kimono with spiders on it is a dream. beautiful!

  2. Pingback: Kimono Tsuki » Blog Archive » Vintage vibe, modern fit!

  3. The spider obi is awesome. Weird motifs are great. 🙂

  4. I love this. Looks beautiful and fun. Diane, you look wonderful in your kimonos. What is the shop in Montreal that has the only authentic kimono’s that you mentioned? I would love to go there and browse.

  5. I love that obi!

    I’ve just moved from collecting to wearing, so I feel “safer” with more traditional motifs, and love flowers and nature anyway. But a unique pattern still draws my eye, so in the future I’ll probably move into stranger things down the road.

  6. I’m a real sucker for Autumn motifs, especially maple leaves but I do love strange things as well. I like stuff that is subtle but on closer inspection you’re like “WOW!” That always makes my day. This is a fantastic obi good find!

    • Maple leaves are a beautiful motif. I think they are a great combination of natural and geometric/graphic.

      I don’t have anything subtly unique, unfortunately, unless an obi with crows on it counts.

  7. I love the traditional geometric motifs. I’m not much for flowers, myself. Most of my kimono, even my formal houmongi have geometric motifs – my houmongi is triangle shapes painted in yuzen on a bright blue background. Seigaiha is a particular favorite of mine – I have two seigaiha motif obi. I’m really on the lookout for a kimono with allover asanoha or yabane patterning.

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