Fukuro obi (袋帯)

The fukuro obi is a kind of obi (sash) that is used in Japan.

In the case of products for females, its width is about 30 cm (hassun of kujirajaku [a measure used in kimono-making]) and its length is about four meters. Half-width (kujira yonsun [about 15 cm]) fukuro-obi is also available. Its width is about 10 cm in the case of products for men (kaku obi).

This name derived from the technique of weaving (fukuro-ori : a kind of futae-ori [double fabric]; it is a sack-like textile whose selvages of right and wrong sides are sewed together), and it is used for formal dress and festive dress. A textile that is woven with this technique is called "honbukuro." Other than the above, nuibukuro (the one that is made by sewing together the selvages of two textiles of kujira hassun [30cm]) and katanuibukuro (the one that is made by folding a textile of kujira jurokusun [60 cm] in half and sewing together both selvages) are also available.

It has become synonymous with obi for formal dress since obi ita (cardboard belt to stiffen the obi sash) is not necessary in tying (however, obi ita is normally used in contemporary kimono-wearing) and it is easy to handle.

Tsuzuriori (figured brocade), karaori (Chinese weaving), nishiki (brocade) or sha (silk gauze) is used for material, and its patterns are a luxurious ones that cover a textile in whole. Plain textile is normally used for lining material.

In the meantime, there are some Nagoya obi which are as luxurious as fukuro obi.

[Original Japanese]