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High end silk kimono are best air dried and spot cleaned. If you want to wash a silk kimono, consult a dry cleaner who is used to handling delicate silk garments.
If you need to wash it yourself, fill the sink, or a bucket, with cold or lukewarm water under 30 degrees celcius, as hot water can damage silk. Do not place the item in a washing machine, not even on the gentle cycle. If hard water must be used, consider adding a spoonful of Borax powder, to make it gentler on the fabric.
Add a cleansing agent. A special, delicate clothing detergent can be used, but not regular detergent. Also, baby shampoo and mild, alkaline-free soap will work. Gently agitate the kimono in the soapy water. With care, wash the kimono by hand, paying special attention to any stains, embellishments, or damaged sections of the fabric. Avoid roughly scrubbing or manhandling the kimono, and rinse off all soap and suds.
Let the kimono air dry. Place it on a hanger and let it dry away from direct sunlight, which could fade the color. Don't wring the fabric, just let excess water drip off. Never place the kimono in a clothes dryer, as it could shrink.
Some kimono or haori have long, loose basting stitches placed around the outside edges. These stitches are called shitsuke ito. They help to prevent bunching, folding and wrinkling, and keep the kimono's layers in alignment while in storage.
Like many other traditional Japanese garments, there are specific ways to fold kimono. These methods help to preserve the garment and to keep it from creasing when stored. Kimonos are often stored wrapped in paper called tatōshi.
Kimono need to be aired out at least seasonally and before and after each time they are worn.