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Dalaran1991
02-15-2014, 03:38 PM
I've just been awarded my Hakama. Although I'm familiar with its use after a long time of attending to my Sensei's hakama, I would like some advice on maintaining it, since I haven't used one on a regular basis before.

Let's skip the basic about folding the hakama after each use and storing it in a well ventilated place. I practice 4-5 times a week, each time 2-3 hours with frequent use of break falls. At least 4h/week is spent doing Suwari Waza or Hanmi Han Tachi.

What I would like to ask is, with such frequency of use, how do I keep and maintain the form and pleats of my hakama? Is ironing the pleats every week necessary? And how often do I need to wash it? I've heard that washing is bad for the hakama, but for the moment I can't afford a second one to rotate.

Thanks for your input!

SeaGrass
02-15-2014, 04:31 PM
If you fold your hakama correctly and often, that would take care of the pleats. It also depends on the material of your hakama, tetron and twill are easier to fold in my experience, cotton wrinkles a bit more...

I do both, machine wash and dry clean mine. If you machine wash yours, hang it up and air dry it instead of using the drier, it minimizes the wrinkles. If you can find a place that know how to dry clean a hakama then use it, most places don't know how to and can screw up the pleats.

Shadowfax
02-15-2014, 06:19 PM
I just machine wash mine a few times a year. Hang to dry and use some clothes pins to pin the pleats in possition while it dries. Otherwise just keep it neatly folded when not in use.

Janet Rosen
02-15-2014, 06:23 PM
ANYthing you wear has to be washed, for hygiene reasons.
What Cherie suggests about air-drying it hanging up with clothes pins to hold the pleats is excellent, and then press as needed once dry.

SteliosPapadakis
02-16-2014, 05:15 AM
Congratulations on your Shodan achievement!
I wash my hakama about twice a year. Before i hand wash it, i clip all the pleats in place. Wash thoroughly, rinse thoroughly and let dry by hanging it away from the sun. That's about it, really. My hakama takes a lot of punishment during lessons yet even the cheapest (material wise) garment of the sort stays with me for at least 3 years.
Be well :)

Carsten Möllering
02-16-2014, 07:16 AM
Is ironing the pleats every week necessary?
Depends. When it's made of cotton I recommend ironing. I do it about once a week. If it's dyed with indigo use a towel between hakama and iron.
Also, if it's made of cotton folding it neatly after practice is most important. Over the time the pleats will "go there" where you "lead" them by folding the hakama. Especially take care of the "inner pleats".
I use a heavy indigo dyed cotton hakama. I would never put it into a washing mashine. And have never heard of someone trying that. But it's very easy to use a bathtub. I do this about two times a year.

When you are doing a lot of suwari waza, I think there is no way to take care of knee-region in a particular way. I know some friends who have patches on their hakama ...

Dalaran1991
02-16-2014, 02:36 PM
Congratulations on your Shodan achievement!
I wash my hakama about twice a year. Before i hand wash it, i clip all the pleats in place. Wash thoroughly, rinse thoroughly and let dry by hanging it away from the sun. That's about it, really. My hakama takes a lot of punishment during lessons yet even the cheapest (material wise) garment of the sort stays with me for at least 3 years.
Be well :)

Thank you! Although I'm still at 1st kyu. Here people give out the hakama somewhere along 1st kyu because they want people to wear a hakama at their shodan test. Strange :confused:

About the washing part, so no more than 1 wash/month? And since mine is cotton indigo, that means no washing machine either?

What do you think about these washing methods? Seem really convenient to me:

http://www.bestkendo.com/kendo-washing.html

Walter Martindale
02-16-2014, 03:25 PM
Thank you! Although I'm still at 1st kyu. Here people give out the hakama somewhere along 1st kyu because they want people to wear a hakama at their shodan test. Strange :confused:

About the washing part, so no more than 1 wash/month? And since mine is cotton indigo, that means no washing machine either?

What do you think about these washing methods? Seem really convenient to me:

http://www.bestkendo.com/kendo-washing.html

I haven't looked at the website but - on the assumption that you and the people with whom you train may perspire once in a while, wash the hakama at LEAST once a month if you're practicing a lot. If not for your own health, out of consideration for the people you train with - old sweat tends to get kinda rotten.

Cotton Indigo - I've never owned one of those - too much "looking after" - if I did get one of those, I'd use it MAYBE at seminars and ceremonies, but stick to the "techron" I think it's called machine-washable ones for regular training. First kyu wearing hakama isn't that out of the norm - I've been in one dojo where you were asked (not required) to start at third kyu - wearing the hakama at the home dojo, but fitting with other dojo practices when training at others (e.g., usually not wearing hakama until shodan).

WM

Janet Rosen
02-16-2014, 04:21 PM
Thank you! Although I'm still at 1st kyu. Here people give out the hakama somewhere along 1st kyu because they want people to wear a hakama at their shodan test. Strange :confused:

About the washing part, so no more than 1 wash/month? And since mine is cotton indigo, that means no washing machine either?

What do you think about these washing methods? Seem really convenient to me:

http://www.bestkendo.com/kendo-washing.html

This fabric maven/seamstress says the info on the site is accurate. Especially about routine over-dying and the fact that you are NOT "fixing" or "setting" the dye but simply repeatedly washing to remove excess dye sitting on top of the fabric.

Shadowfax
02-16-2014, 04:21 PM
Congratulations on your Shodan achievement!
Not everyone wearing Hakama has reached shodan. I started wearing one at 6th kyu. Different dojos different philosophies on wearing them.

I haven't looked at the website but - on the assumption that you and the people with whom you train may perspire once in a while, wash the hakama at LEAST once a month if you're practicing a lot. If not for your own health, out of consideration for the people you train with - old sweat tends to get kinda rotten.

If you are wearing it over a gi, it really does not get much sweat on it. I find that a wash every 4-6 months is suficient to keep it looking and smelling nice.

lbb
02-16-2014, 05:44 PM
Re: washing, use a front loader and don't worry about it. I wash hakama in my front loader in the regular cycle, cotton, twill, whatever. I would not want to wash any kind of a hakama in a front loader. Get a good skirt hanger and use it to hang the hakama after washing, and use clothespins to pin the pleats at the bottom. Let it dry, touch up with an iron if necessary (it may not be) and fold as normal. I don't just use the skirt hanger after washing, but if you've had a sweaty practice or it's a sweaty time of the year, you may prefer to let it air sometimes rather than always fold and store. Folding when it's damp is an invitation to problems, whether the dampness is water or sweat.

Dalaran1991
02-17-2014, 06:19 AM
If you are wearing it over a gi, it really does not get much sweat on it. I find that a wash every 4-6 months is suficient to keep it looking and smelling nice.

Er.... how can you NOT wear it over a gi? Wouldnt that be very indecent and revealing especially if you are doing an ushiro ukemi? Some girls in my dojo used to wear leggings under the hakama and the Sensei recently ban that practice, saying its still not proper.

Anyway you are correct that sweating isnt a problem, but all the dust and residue the hakama collects from the tatami is. I use a cloth brush to dust off mine after every session.

I would not want to wash any kind of a hakama in a front loader.

Do you mean top loader?

lbb
02-17-2014, 07:08 AM
Er.... how can you NOT wear it over a gi? Wouldnt that be very indecent and revealing especially if you are doing an ushiro ukemi?

It's neither here nor there, but in some weapons styles you don't wear gi pants under the hakama. And one day last summer, purely by accident (as in, forgot my pants) I ended up wearing a pair of nylon shorts under my gi. No one noticed and it was great (very hot day).


Do you mean top loader?

Yes.

ramenboy
02-17-2014, 12:53 PM
Depends. When it's made of cotton I recommend ironing. I do it about once a week. If it's dyed with indigo use a towel between hakama and iron.
Also, if it's made of cotton folding it neatly after practice is most important. Over the time the pleats will "go there" where you "lead" them by folding the hakama. Especially take care of the "inner pleats".
I use a heavy indigo dyed cotton hakama. I would never put it into a washing mashine. And have never heard of someone trying that. But it's very easy to use a bathtub. I do this about two times a year.

When you are doing a lot of suwari waza, I think there is no way to take care of knee-region in a particular way. I know some friends who have patches on their hakama ...

i do this pretty much the same. no need to wash it more than that, since we're wearing our gi pants underneath (aren't we?), and those are washed all the time.

just make sure its folded well. then i'll was it in a basin with a little detergent, and just press the soapy water through it. turns a funny green/yellow. then just rinse until the water is clear.

after that, i just clip the pleats at the bottom and hang in the shower for a day.

Fred Little
02-17-2014, 01:11 PM
My take would be that if there's an element of indecency involved in not wearing trousers under the hakama, this is a good sign that the uwagi is too short and has vents in the wrong places. But then, I'm one of those funny "no pants" weapons guys....

YMMV,

FL

Dalaran1991
02-17-2014, 04:30 PM
OK came back today after two 2-hours training sessions. My brand new hakama is already showing some wrinkles. I'm a really perfectionist kind of guy and my Sensei is also along the line of "showing respect for your appearance = respect for dojo and training". If I iron the hakama without washing it do I risk pressing the dirt and god-knows-what into the hakama too?

Or should I just accept the fact that the Hakama will get beaten and worn just like my Gi? Funny, I take care of my Gi but not this obsessive. Maybe I'm just getting attached to the Hakama and the status it conveys ;)

Janet Rosen
02-17-2014, 06:37 PM
It's just a garment. As with any tool, treat it with respect, but don't fetishize it.

And anybody who tried to tell me leggings or anything else worn underneath is not appeopriate is in for a conversation. Keikigi pants, leggings, thermals, shorts, tights, t-shirt, bra, etc are ALL underwear and strictly my business as long as modesty is maintained.

lbb
02-17-2014, 08:49 PM
What Janet said. It's just clothing. Fold it properly and don't fret about it. No, it won't be perfect-from-the-wrapper, any more than your new jacket will be after you wear it once.

hughrbeyer
02-17-2014, 10:08 PM
OMG, and whatever you do, DON'T iron the hakama without washing it. Didn't your momma teach you anything?

phitruong
02-18-2014, 08:41 AM
And anybody who tried to tell me leggings or anything else worn underneath is not appeopriate is in for a conversation. Keikigi pants, leggings, thermals, shorts, tights, t-shirt, bra, etc are ALL underwear and strictly my business as long as modesty is maintained.

saw a guy (wasn't me, wish it was), at a seminar, wearing just zebra thong under the hakama. i saw through the side vents, since his gi jacket wasn't long enough. it was rather disturbing, since i wasn't the one who thought of that. bastard beat me to it! :)

Janet Rosen
02-18-2014, 09:28 AM
saw a guy (wasn't me, wish it was), at a seminar, wearing just zebra thong under the hakama. i saw through the side vents, since his gi jacket wasn't long enough. it was rather disturbing, since i wasn't the one who thought of that. bastard beat me to it! :)

I can't wait to see the gifts you get at next seminars :D

Keith Larman
02-18-2014, 01:47 PM
saw a guy (wasn't me, wish it was), at a seminar, wearing just zebra thong under the hakama. i saw through the side vents, since his gi jacket wasn't long enough. it was rather disturbing, since i wasn't the one who thought of that. bastard beat me to it! :)

Phi, that was a mirror... Pay attention.

I sweat a lot. Frankly I was really happy there was this other guy training with us for a few years that sweat more than me. Unfortunately he moved away, but he still comes by to train so I'm not the only one leaving sweat streaks on the mat. As a result I tend to hang my hakama after every practice. And I wash it on gentle now and again, especially if it's been hot. But then again I also wash my belt now and again which some folk find sacrilegious.

And I've trained with folk who wear nothin' but undies under their hakama. I'll sometimes wear simple workout shorts under mine on hot days (see above -- I sweat a lot so having extra layers isn't exactly a joy for me). Wear what you need to satisfy your own modesty and hygiene requirements. And frankly I don't get why some sensei worry about what someone is wearing *under* their training gear as long as you're not flashing locally/culturally inappropriate body parts at your training partners.

Keith Larman
02-18-2014, 01:51 PM
And fwiw I've got one person I train with occasionally who must subsist on a diet of onions, garlic and probably kim chee. His keikogi always seems clean and washed, thank goodness, because with what he tends to, um, excrete during sweating, well, he carries a field of power that is quite profound. And now I've officially forgotten the topic of this thread...

Oh, yeah, care of hakama. It's training gear not magic pants of power. Clean it if its dirty. Hang it when its wet. Fold it when its dry. There, you're welcome. Problem solved... :)

Shadowfax
02-18-2014, 05:14 PM
Er.... how can you NOT wear it over a gi? Wouldnt that be very indecent and revealing especially if you are doing an ushiro ukemi? Some girls in my dojo used to wear leggings under the hakama and the Sensei recently ban that practice, saying its still not proper.

Anyway you are correct that sweating isnt a problem, but all the dust and residue the hakama collects from the tatami is. I use a cloth brush to dust off mine after every session.

Do you mean top loader?

I have trained with a guy who wore nothing under his hackama but boxers.. well I assume boxers since I really didn't check. He mentioned that he did not wear gi pants under it. It didn't bother me or ayone else in class that I noticed. He did note that this was not particularly fine to do when practicing swari waza. :p

I personally have taken to wearing black yoga pants under mine. My teachers are inclined to favor practicality over etiquette so they don't mind and it is easier for me to get a good fit since gi pants tend not to fit us curvy women too well. More important to be able to move well than to look pretty.

As for the dirt and dust from the mat... IDK I guess we keep ours a lot cleaner than where you train then. This just isn't really a problem.