I used to be really snooty about the type of fabric my kimono were made of. I always bought only the silk ones (except when it's yukata, when it's made of cotton) and snubbed all those made of synthetic fibers. Then, one day, I bought a synthetic kimono completely by accident.
For a while, I floundered: what do I do? I heard synthetics were really uncomfortable, I heard they were hot to wear, etc etc. Then I received it in the mail. To my surprise, it was very smooth and soft, almost like silk! It was also really comfortable, and best of all: if I accidentally spilled something on it, I just threw it into the washing machine! I was hooked.
From then on, I stopped snubbing synthetic kimono. But then I noticed something: nearly all of the synthetic kimono I could find were layered, and too hot to wear during some of the season-change months! I despaired for a while, thinking I'd never be able to wear kimono during the season-change months (usually in May and September) since all I had were awase kimono (double-layered kimono, or kimono with lining) and yukata (thin cotton summer kimono).
One day, while pondering this, I noticed RyuJapan was having a sale on his website. I noticed he had a category called "Wool" and went to check it out. I immediately saw a large number of absolutely gorgeous kimono made of wool, which meant they were casual and for everyday wear, not as hot as synthetics, but not as fragile or delicate as silk! A big plus is that none of them were lined. Of course, I bought a few of them.
When they arrived, I straighaway put them on. I had originally had misgivings on buying wool kimono because I was always afraid that the wool would be scratchy against my skin (I have very sensitive skin). I soon found that this was a rather stupid fear, because I would have my hadajuban and my nagajuban on, so I wouldn't feel the kimono if it was scratchy! (Not that many of them were scratchy)
I tentatively posted this on the IG forums and found a whole list of pros to wearing wool: natural fiber, so it breathes better and is cooler than synthetics; not as delicate as silk, so it won't stain so badly even if I spilled water on it; casual and for everyday wear; all of them are unlined, so technically I can wear all of them all-year round without worrying! I fell in love with wool kimono then, and have worn wool kimono almost every time since. A majority of my everyday kimono are actually made of wool.
Sometimes, I think back on all that time ago and wonder why I was such a snob for only wanting to wear silks, even though they're more difficult to care for and so delicate.
Two Saturdays ago, I got my answer as I finally wore a silk kimono again after nearly 5 months of not wearing silk. The reason I preferred silk then was really obvious to me: silk, despite being more delicate and requiring more care, feels heavenly even against my juban. It is smooth and flows wonderfully, barely creating wrinkles and hanging gracefully on my body. It is truly the one fabric that makes kimono seem soft and delicate, not at all harsh straight lines like the impressions that some stiff fabrics give. I think a part of its delicate appearance is because of the soft swishing sounds the silk makes when you move, unlike the loud crinkly sounds that synthetics and sometimes even wools make!
Of course, this does not mean that synthetics and wools aren't good to wear! They do have their own merits, after all. But still, after 5 months of wearing nothing but synthetics and wool, which are at times harsh to feel, the gentle feel and wonderful texture of silk fabric surprised me, and I found myself falling in love with kimono all over again.
Sometimes I wish the weather in the UK wasn't so unpredictable. Maybe then I'd dare to wear out a wonderful silk kimono out on the streets, feeling like a princess and floating along the pavement!! XD