Originally, the word kimono simply meant a Japanese article of clothing. Today if refers specifically to the traditional garments that originated during the Heian period (794-1192).
The obi or sash, in contrast, did not come into style until the Edo period. Designers, weavers and dyers all contribute to the artistry of these dramatic items of clothing. Today they are prized not only for wear but for display.
There are many different styles of kimono and obi. These include the Japanese uchikake, furisode, yucata kimono, and the maru, fukuro and Nagoya obi. Because of their masterful crafting, Japanese textiles of all kinds are in great demand, e.g., noren (curtain), tsutsugaki (futon cover) and nobori (banner).