I received a couple of new obi recently. Both are red and white, so they look like they are just waiting for a holiday party! Both are silk hakata weave hanhaba obi. I was pleasantly surprised when they arrived, as the seller indicated the condition on both was "good"; however, they are both gorgeous and in excellent condition. One is a two-sided obi; with a kokeshi and stripe design on one side and red on white classic hakata geometric pattern on the other side. The kokeshi side has thin green stripes in the center that reminds me of Christmas wrapping paper! It still has the original label in it. The red shimmers against the white silk and looks very festive to me. It's really a fabulous obi and is so elegant, I think it might work with my green iromuji for a wonderful holiday ensemble.
That's one of the advantages of hakata-ori: versatility! Depending on the fiber content (I have a cotton hakata obi), and type of obi (hanhaba, nagoya, fukuro), it can be worn with most types of kimono. The pattern is considered season-less, also a plus for people with a limited kimono collection. Hakata are easy to tie and to wear and I have noticed that they are not as heavy as other obi as they are often hitoe. Though both of these are awase (Two layers of fabric), they are lightweight and crisp but not stiff.
The other hakata obi is white on red hakata weave. The red is a vibrant cherry red and is backed with plain solid red silk. It's also in near-perfect condition and has that wonderful feel and drape to it that only hakata has. This will work really well with most of my yukata and maybe even a couple of komon kimono.
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