What is Obi and what are its types for Women?

silk kimono

A band known as an “obi” is worn alongside both traditional Japanese attire or silk kimono and costumes for Japanese kung fu disciplines. Obis come in a variety of sizes and shapes.

​One can match a variety of obi styles with the kimono. Below are the fundamental obi styles and appropriate occasions to utilize them.  The order of this ranking is from most professional to least professional.

Kinds of Kimonos

Women’s Obi:

  • One huge, nearly 62-cm strip of densely woven fabric is folded into two and stitched closed to create one Maru obi. The fabric is often dense and stiff, and it has extensive embroideries and patterns throughout the length. These obis are exceedingly formal and usually often created using golden and/or silvery threads. Although they are typically no longer manufactured, many antique items are still available for purchase. These obis often measure 4 meters in length. Maru Formality: The most official; it may be worn with kurotomesode or wedding attire. But nowadays, most individuals only preserve these as decorative items.
  • The maru obi has been refined into the fukuro obi. On both the front and back, two separate materials are stitched together. The obi seems to be much narrower than just a maru obi and has a single design solely on a single side. The length can range from three to four meters long, and the breadth is typically 30 cm. For fukuro obi, there are primarily two design styles.
  • Rokutsu – Only a 60percent of the front portion of the obi is covered by a design; this is the part that will become visible after the obi has indeed been tied. The most typical kind of fukuro obi is this kind.
  • Zentsu – The whole forward face of the obi is covered in a design. These are both more costly and less popular because the obi requires almost twice as much embroidery.
  • Fukuro formality: any iromuji with a crest and higher, typically tied with the nijyuudaiko musubi.


The Nagoya obi, a further simplification of the fukuro obi, emerged in the twentieth century. Nagoya obi is 30 centimetres thick and has the same breadth as fukuro. However, it is typically only 3.5 meters long, considerably shorter. The three primary kinds of Nagoya obi are as follows.

  • The Nagoya obi’s most common variety is called Nagoya shitate. You don’t need to bend the obi at all when you put it on because the portion that goes around the torso is sewn in halfway.
  • Just about 30 cm of the obi’s matsuba shitate is stitched together to aid in folding. The remainder is entirely open.

Hiraki shitate – The design leaves all of the obi intact and doesn’t sew any parts of it in two.

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