Obi is a word referring to several different types of sashes worn with kimono and other garments by both men and women. Obi are the top-most sash worn with various styles of clothing; several other sashes may be worn under the obi to secure the clothing in place and/or to enhance the shape of the body or of the uppermost sash.

Obi were traditionally made of silk, though for martial arts and informal attire they are also fashioned of cotton.

Historical Obi (OOC)

Men's kimono obi are wrapped one or more times around the waist and are tied slightly off-centre at the back, most commonly in the style of knot called kai no kuchi, literally "clam's mouth", though there are other knots as well. Men's obi are normally worn quite low on the waist, somewhat below the stomach.

Women's kimono obi are twice as wide as men's or more, and considerably longer. They are frequently very decorative and colourful, though this will depend on the age of the wearer, the type and style of kimono, the season, and the occasion for which it is being worn.

Women's obi are also wrapped one or more times around the waist, and are tied much higher up, generally with the top just under the breasts. Women also use various styles of knots, including the kai no kuchi, but more typically women's obi are tied in a taiko or drum knot, a large roll at the back, usually enhanced and shaped with padding called makura, literally "pillows." Unlike men, women tie the knot at the centre of the back.

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