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 About Koromos (Robes) and Kimonos

 

Monks traditionally wear three layers of clothes: a jiban, which is an underrobe top; a kimono; and a koromo, or outer robe. Lay people may follow this convention or choose to wear their robe with only a full underrobe.

There are summer robes and winter robes, each used during particular times of the year. Summer robes are usually made from cotton gauze fabric or any lightweight cotton. Winter robes are heavier and warmer. Generally, lay people just wear one style of robe throughout the year.

Monks’ kimonos for everyday use are of grey color, with the most traditional being made from chambray fabric. Chambray is pure cotton. Some people prefer poly-cotton fabric.

For ceremonies monks use white kimonos and a ceremonial robe called shinigi. Shinigi is made from a transparent chiffon-like fabric, made from polyester or silk.