Get your style in shape with Japanese Kanzashi

by Charlotte.Barnes on September 8, 2011

flowers silk fashionWhen you’re getting dressed up for a special occasion, you always want to make sure your outfit is distinctive and individual; turning a few heads when you make your grand entrance. Thanks to a stylish and unique fashion style sweeping across from Japan, your dreams can now become a reality with Kanzashi.

Kanzashi are traditional Japanese hair ornaments that are becoming increasing popular in Western cultures. These stunning designs are made from a variety of materials; the most important of which being tsumami-e hanakanzashi; folded silk flowers.

Kanzashi are predominantly worn in Japan by the maiko (apprentice geisha) of Kyoto, who have specific types of hair ornaments for each month, which are usually based on seasonal flowers and natural motifs.

Kanzashi are made by a process of folding small silk squares into petals. Flowers can have from four to more than 200 petals, and a single kanzashi may have over 40 flowers. The fabric is dyed, starched with rice paste, and folded into either a pointed or round shape before being arranged into the chosen design. The finished flowers can then be decorated with wired or paper cord (mizuhiki), silver butterflies, and bells.

Every month has its own particular style of kanzashi, with different ones for both senior and younger maiko. Here are some of our favourites:

Kusudama: (medicine ball) with silk tassel. This non-floral motif is sometimes worn during the February Setsubun Festival.

flowers silk fashionA single peony flower for senior maiko in March.

flowers silk fashion peonyThree kikyou (bellflower) blossoms make up this September kanzashi,. The tassel and contrasting colours make it more of a junior maiko ornament.

flowers silk fashion

Kanzashi artist Syd models the stunning November arrangement with three autumn maple leaves.

flowers silk fashionKanzashi made by Syd at Peacockalorum. Pictures and information from

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Charlotte Barnes

Post category: Flower Fashion, Flowers, Knowledge  

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Kanzashi | Mysterious Japan
12.31.11 at 3:05 am

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