The Differences Between Charmeuse and Silk Kimono Fabrics

When our co-founders, sisters Renee and Tiffany Tam, set out to create KIM+ONO, it was after years (a lifetime actually!) of inspiration from the traditional Japanese kimono. From the production process to the kimono fabrics themselves, the sisters were intrigued and fascinated by the handcrafted artisanship that it takes to craft a beautiful kimono from delicate materials like silk. So when they decided to bring their love of the traditional Japanese kimono into a brand dedicated to crafting self care for the modern woman to wear, they knew that the beauty of the silk kimono fabric would be an essential part of their own production process, too.


While we don’t replicate the traditional Japanese kimono, we do take a large amount of inspiration from how these pieces were made as we make our own floral kimono robes. From our plus size kimono robes to our silky floral robes and every piece in between, each of our designs is handcrafted with delicate kimono fabric that’s right for your life. From Washable Silk to Handpainted Silk to Charmeuse, there’s a little something for everyone. While we have a larger and more all encompassing breakdown of our kimono fabrics here, we wanted to focus in on the question we get very often — should I choose Charmeuse or Silk? It’s an individual question that depends on you and how you want to weave our silk robes for women into your daily life. So today in the journal, we’re highlighting the ways that Charmeuse and Silk Kimono Fabrics differ from each other so you can be sure you’re choosing the right piece of luxury for you.

 
Washable Silk Kiku Kimono Robe
Photo by Maria Del Rio
Highlights of our Silk Kimono Robes

First, let’s start with our silk robes for women. We have several different collections of our silk material — Washable Silk, Handpainted Silk, and Printed Silk. There are differences between the silks in weight (Washable is 22mm while the other two kimono fabrics are 16mm). But the silk fabric itself is all made from Grade 6a Raw Silk. It’s 100% Mulberry Silk. So each and every time so you slip into your silky floral robe, no matter which collection you choose, you’re slipping into the same high quality silk experience. Our silk is a delicate kimono fabric and should be handled with lots of TLC. Our Washable Silk can stand up to an at home wash in the gentle cycle with cold water and mild detergent, but should only be hung to dry. Our other two collections should only be dry cleaned. We don’t recommend even hand washing them, as silk kimono fabric should not get into contact with water. Water can easily damage non-washable silk fibers and, in the case of our Handpainted Silk Collection, cause the handpainted designs to become obscured and run. We have brought the beauty of this silk kimono fabric into our plus size kimono robe collection, which features both Washable Silk and Printed Silk.

Peony & Bird Kimono Robe
Photo by Maria Del Rio
Highlights of our Charmeuse Kimono Robes

Our Charmeuse Collection is a beautiful collection that is our silk-alternative. It uses a 100% polyester fiber with a charmeuse weave. The weave is what makes the polyester fiber behave in a silky way. That means that even though you’re wearing polyester, it will flow like silk with a liquid drape that allows it to curve along with your body. The charmeuse kimono fabric is 22mm in weight. It’s slightly heavier than the Printed and Handpainted Collections, but still considered very lightweight and breathable. The print for the charmeuse floral kimono robes is printed on the outside of the robe and it can be gently washed at home in the delicate cycle with cold water and mild detergent. Don’t forget to hang dry this beauty! And as with our Washable Silk, you can use a light steamer to get out the crinkly wrinkles from shipping or laundering.

Silk Keina Kimono Robe
Photo by Maria Del Rio
The Difference in Feel between Silk and Charmeuse

The major difference between our Silk and Charmeuse kimono fabrics is simply the fiber that’s used. Since the polyester fiber is synthetic and the silk fiber is natural, there will inherently be a difference in feel. The charmeuse weave gets the polyester fiber as close to a silky feel as possible. The charmeuse kimono fabric may feel closer to our washable silk kimono fabric, than to our lighter weight and more delicate Handpainted or Printed silks. As tends to be the case, our silk robes for women may feel a bit more luxurious due to the nature of 100% silk itself.

Charmeuse and Silk Kimono Robes
Photo by Augie Chang
The Difference in Laundering between Silk and Charmeuse

If you’re choosing between our Washable Silk robes for women and our Charmeuse floral kimono robes, the laundering process will be the exact same! As mentioned above, you can (very gently) wash this in washing machine. We highly encourage you to place both kimono fabrics in a delicates bag before washing. Remember, it’s still a delicate material even though it can be laundered at home! Keeping it in a delicates bag and making sure your washing machine is not overstuffed will prevent pulling, twisting, and snagging on other clothing items with buttons and zippers. If you choose from our Handpainted or Printed Silk robes for women, you should only dry clean these pieces. They should never be washed, and none of our pieces should ever be placed in the dryer.

Charmeuse & Silk Kimono Robes
Photo by Augie Chang
How to Pick the Right Kimono Fabric for You

So now that you have all the details on the differences and highlights between the kimono fabrics, how do you choose the right option for you? The great news is that both fabrics are available as plus size kimono robes as well. You can choose from Washable Silk, Printed Silk, or Charmeuse across both of our sizing options. Once you know and have chosen the correct size for you, you can decide how would you like to be able to wash this piece? Decide if it’s more important for you to wash at home or if you wouldn’t mind taking it to the dry cleaner. Lastly, think about the weight. While all of our pieces are considered lightweight, our silky floral robes tend to feel just a touch lighter than the charmeuse.

No matter what you choose, we hope you find a kimono fabric that makes you feel like the queen you are and brings a little extra luxury to your everyday.

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