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Probably the most destructive thing you can do to your kimono is to actually wear it. However, kimono are made to be enjoyed and simply packing them away in a box for posterity will bring joy to neither you nor the splendid garment. So here are some fundamentals you should keep in mind as you are laying out your wardrobe: Bathe thoroughly your body and hair, avoiding all lotions, creams, and pomades. Refrain from using any perfumes or colognes, and never smoke while wearing kimono. If you are to eat or drink while kimono clad, take great care not to spill. A clean handkerchief on your lap while sitting will help to take care of any crumbs and allow you to discretely wipe any oils form your hands if napkins aren't available. If necessary, a handkerchief discretely placed upon a park bench before sitting down is also appropriate.
If you are able to plan ahead of time, remove your folded garment from its envelope and allow it to hang on an emonkake (Japanese style hanger) for two or three days before the event is to take place. If you have used mothballs in storing it, this will allow time for the smell to dissipate. Brush the garment with a soft clothes-brush and use a lint remover to take care of any static problems. If there are any really major fold lines remaining after a day, gently steam them out.
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emonkake (kimono hanger)
Once you've returned from your outing, wash your hands before removing your kimono. Your garment will have absorbed moisture and sweat from our body. Hang your garment back on the emonkake and allow it to air for two to three hours. This will help to prevent mold and spots from forming later.

Be sure to take time to carefully look over your kimono at this stage. Areas that soil easily are the wrist area of the sleeve, the collar, and the hem. If you have worn a kimono with long sleeves, be sure to check the front-bottom, rounded portion of the sleeve for any spots or dust. Next gently pat down all of the trouble spots with a folded piece of velvet, terry cloth, or soft cotton to dislodge any dust from the street. If you have found any spots that can't be dislodged in this manner, move on to more aggressive techniques. Lastly, with a low, dry iron, press out any severe wrinkles. It is best to press from the lining side, but if you must iron from the front be sure to use a press-cloth.

Treat your obi, haori, and other garments in the manner outlined above.

If you have just purchased a used kimono, then you may also want to follow the steps outlined above.
Now you are ready to pack your precious garment away.

Garments are not normally just laid out on the table or floor to be folded.  Prepare a clean flat area and wash your hands before proceeding.  A freshly wiped tabletop or the top of a freshly made bed will work quite nicely.
Japanese often keep large shitajiki on hand for this purpose.  A large sheet of new butcher  -paper (un-waxed) or clear newsprint will work just fine. If you'd like to get a little fancy, you may papier-mâché the butcher print with pages from an old Japanese songbook or other decorative text (see left image as a guide).
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If you are feeling creative, you may want to add tsugigami style embellishments to your piece, as shown here.
You may use white butcher-paper as the core to your shitajiki, or an old white sheet, well ironed. If using a sheet, you may want to starch it heavily first. Use a runny consistency of wheat paste or rice paste to apply the paper sheets to both sides of the shitajiki, allowing one side to dry before starting the other. Sew cotton bias tape around all of the edges once the layers are completely dry. Crease the shitajiki into six segments the long way, and four the short way. The example shown here is 60”  (150cm) x 40” (102cm).
Let's discuss folding your kimono. Every type of kimono has its own special way to be folded-most often this is based on the methods of construction used.
Click on the images below to learn how to fold each particular kind of garment.
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tomesode and other very dressy kimono
standard fold for most kimono
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You may want to use something to keep the bugs away. Mothballs do work well, but are poisonous and have a lingering odor. I recommend using camphor cubes (shounou). They are inexpensive, have a moderately pleasant smell and the aroma dissipates quickly once the garment is hung to air. Whatever you choose to use, take care to wrap it in tissue and do not allow it to come into direct contact with your garment, otherwise, it may cause discoloration.

Never use plastic bags to store your silks. These can trap moisture and cause spotting. The ideal way to store your garments is in an unfinished Japanese tansu. If this is not an option, large dresser drawers will work; camphor and cedar hope chests, as well as map drawers or cabinets all offer a wonderful options for storing and viewing; and large flat cardboard boxes will always work in a pinch. I use all them. In each case I place my garments in a kimono wrapper (tatoushi). When using cardboard, I take the extra precaution of lining the box with well-washed old sheets to protect the wrappers and the garments from the acid in the corrugated paper.

A little extra time invested in caring for your garments will give you years of extended pleasure.
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with John Marshall
Welcome new friends and old! I've often been asked to write about a variety of Japanese textile and culture related subjects. This page allows me the opportunity to address your requests and to ramble off on side subjects wherever my whim and imagination lead.
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Ichiroya has graciously allowed me to use images from their site to illustrate my ramblings. This is not a financial arrangement I have made - I simply believe them to be wonderful people with whom I enjoy doing business, and wish to support their endeavors. Ichiroya is a web based treasure trove of Japanese textiles, antiques, and information. If you haven't visited them in the past, just click on the icon to the left! Or, click on any of the images below to be taken directly to their page for more images and information.
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When spread open, the shitajiki may also be used to stand upon when you must change into kimono when away from home. This will keep your garments clean regardless of the environment in which you find yourself.
Shitajiki may be used in a variety of ways to help keep your garments clean.