Japanese garments are styled for minimal cutting or waste of fabric while achieving sophisticated and graceful lines. The width of fabric produced in Japan has varied substantially over the course of history but for sewing traditional clothing fabric is normally 14 ½ wide. The narrow width of Japanese fabric necessitates a centre back seam in all garments as well as a front opening.
Nearly all cuts into Japanese fabric are made from selvedge to selvedge along the weft thread. Even of the fabric is too wide the Japanese would avoid cutting into the lengthwise grain as this would weaken the fabric. The preference is to take larger seam allowances.
Great emphasis has been placed on surface design throughout Japan’s history of costume. Many styles of weaving, dyeing and stitchery have reached their peak in Japan. OUTER_ROBE.jpg

John Marshall is an expert in Japanese clothing and dye processes. These notes have been taken from his book 'Make Your Own Japanese Clothes'.

Websites detailing traditional Japanese clothing