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-   -   Cotton or Polyester ? (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=242)

JJF 09-06-2000 03:53 AM

Well.... I must admit that I'm still a long way from putting on a hakama in aikido, but I have spend some time browsing the Tozando homepage anyway, and I couldn't help wondering what would be the best fabric for an Aikido-hakama. It seems like the choice is either Cotton or Polyester (or a Polyester/rayon blend) and I can se pros and cons to both. From my kendo-days I now that a cotton hakama tend to wrinkle a lot but on the other side polyester dosen't 'breathe' quite as well so you tend to sweat a lot more. They also some times have a kind of 'glossy' look to them that dosen't excactly enhance the 'original' impression of the outfit.

Any thoughts ?

akiy 09-06-2000 08:28 AM

Both hakama that I own and regularly wear currently are 100% cotton (one from Bu Jin Design and one from Iwata). The Bu Jin hakama is a very heavy cotton and the Iwata hakama (indigo) is of a lighter material.

Cotton hakama tends to be a bit more "high maintenance" in my experience. You really have to learn how to fold the hakama correctly including all of the "inside" pleats; otherwise, the hakama tends to learn to just bunch itself into a huge ball of fabric...

I wash my hakama occasionally (once a year or so?) in the tub. Otherwise, I just let it hang out to dry in between keiko. Washing a cotton hakama in any kind of hot water will, of course, inevitably cause it to shrink. You can get the hakama dry cleaned to avoid shrinkage although it's sometimes difficult to find a dry cleaner who knows how to put the pleats back into the hakama after washing...

-- Jun

rch 09-06-2000 11:57 AM

What about...
 
What about those Tetron hakama? I've been looking to order one myself in the next few weeks, but haven't actually decided which one I want. Most likely, I'll go with a cotton hakama. The trick is deciding if I want a light or heavy weight hakama.

I'm thinking heavy weight, since my ukemi is far from gracefull. :)


Devlin 09-06-2000 08:34 PM

I have a Bu-Jin cotton/poly blend hakama made of the heavy (8 oz) cloth. It is quite comfortable and the fabric breathes well.

Based on what I've seen, the cotton/poly blend is much more durable and color-fast than 100% cotton. The blend doesn't shrink and holds pleats without heroic steam iron work. So, if you get the aiki-style koshita, you can wash your hakama like any other garment.

Best of luck, and take good care of whichever hakama you buy. It's as much a training tool as your weapons.


Tony Peters 09-07-2000 03:30 PM

I have two Haks, My good one is a a Bujin 8oz one that I love, It is easy to fold and wear's well. Since I wear it both indoor and outdoors in does get dirty and I have to wash it about every 6 weeks. I usually just fold it wet and put it in the car to dry (hawaii lots of heat in a dark car. My other on is a very light polyesters job that I only wear when it is really hot (Guam, deep south etc.) It is rather annoying in that it is so light the pleats to stay in without lots of starch but I refuse to wear a heavy one in high humidity. Bujin's cotton hak is Heavy and if you have hard water it leaves white streaks through the fabric. It is also a royal B@#*h to fold however once the folds are set it becomes easier. We raz a guy in my Jodo class about his "stonewashed" looking Blue cotton Bujin Hak. There is a drycleaners here that knows how to fold Hakamas though so we are blessed with that if it gets too out of whack (he droped his off this week for a "tune up"

rch 09-07-2000 04:26 PM

I'm going with...
 
After looking over the various hakama available to me, I've decided on the 8oz. blend from bujin for my first hakama. In fact, I'm calling them in a few minutes. :)


JJF 09-11-2000 03:08 AM

Thank's everybody !

I am now confused at a much higher level ;)

I guees I will check out Bujin when the time comes (in many many years). Still I kinda like the Tozando-homepage. It is quite informative and it gives the impression that they sell quality products but off course that is not neccesarily guaranteeing that their products actually are good.

All the best

akiy 09-11-2000 10:04 AM

Quote:

Tony Peters wrote:
Bujin's cotton hak is Heavy and if you have hard water it leaves white streaks through the fabric.
Actually, I believe that this is due to putting the hakama in the dryer.
Quote:

It is also a royal B@#*h to fold however once the folds are set it becomes easier.
This, I agree with. I only wash my hakama about once a year, but when I do, I iron the heck out of it after hanging it out to dry.

One thing that will help to keep the pleats in a hakama is to be careful when you fold the hakama. Make sure you get the inner pleats as well as the front five. Most people do not even notice that there are several additional pleats "inside" the hakama...

-- Jun

Tony Peters 09-11-2000 12:43 PM

Hard water
 
[quote]akiy wrote:
[b]
Quote:

Tony Peters wrote:
Bujin's cotton hak is Heavy and if you have hard water it leaves white streaks through the fabric.
Actually, I believe that this is due to putting the hakama in the dryer.


Having lived in a area that had it's water stored in limestone caves hard water lives white streaks whether or not you you machine dry it. a cup of white Vinegar in the rinse helps but hard water is notorious for leaving "deposits" I'm happy to have the local drycleaners actually make my Hakama Look pretty about 3-4 times a year.

Mariahn Scarborough 09-22-2000 06:09 PM

Make your own
 
You guys crack me up! I have a heavy set of hak that I made myself. Some girl skills are really handy - I make all my own kimono - and I tacked the pleats! When I wash them, which is a lot more than four times a year, I hang them to dry and the pleats dry in place. I never have to pleat them and I don't have to worry about them bunching up when I am moving across the mat on my knees.

Okay so call me a heretic, but really guys - it isn't supposed to be that hard.

akiy 09-22-2000 06:22 PM

Indeed. Round Earth Publishing has a nice pattern for hakama...

-- Jun

[Edited by akiy on September 22, 2000 at 06:27pm]

rch 09-24-2000 09:36 AM

Update
 
Well I got my hak a few days ago. I ordered the 8oz poly/cotton hak from Bu Jin Design. I really like it, and I think I'll be ordering another one from them soon.

On a side note though, had some troubles getting folded, even with the help of people in class. It seems the Bu Jin hak is made slightly different from the "normal" hakama you find. So, if you think you'll have time Jun, would love to get a small Bu Jin hak folding lesson from ya at the seminar. :)




JJF 09-26-2000 06:32 AM

Re: Make your own
 
Quote:

Mariahn Scarborough wrote:
You guys crack me up! I have a heavy set of hak that I made myself. Some girl skills are really handy [...]
Okay so call me a heretic, but really guys - it isn't supposed to be that hard.

Hi Mariahn!

Well - actually I did. I used to practice Kendo and I couldn't afford a hakama, so I borrowed my senseis and did my best to 'copy' it without a pattern. It was okay but not good. My next attempt was a little more successful, and I now have a darkblue hakama in my closet waiting for the day when I can wear it to Aikido-class. However my original question in this thread was what kind of fabric would be suitable for an Aikido-hakama. What I have is a very heavy pure cotton hakama and I just wanted some feedback on this issue.

I agree with you so far as that some 'girl skills' are handy but I fear that some people might be offended by your comments. It isn't nice to be mocked for ones lack of skills.

Just my thoughts on your reply.

All the best to everybody and thanks for your many thoughts, advises and experiences.

Tony Peters 09-26-2000 11:40 AM

skills...or the lack of them
 
Heavy cotton is a good fabric for a Hakama unless you practice someplace like Guam (the Dojos there have no A/C and the temp/humidity is always in the 90s) where I have trained. In which case really thin polyester is about all you would care to wear. As for having skill to sew your own following a pattern is realy not hard at all. Though I haven't made a Hakama yet I have made an uwagi and an obi as well as numerous other articles of clothing and such. Every single man ought to have his own sewing machine just so he can hem his own pants. Married men need there own just so there wife doesn't get pissed when you use theirs :( Personally I prefer to do my own sewing.

afwen 10-30-2000 05:52 PM

Tozando
 
I just received a 100% polyester hakama from Tozando, with my name embroidered :D. It looks very sharp, and when I hang it in a trouser hanger the pleats just fall right into place. I was worried that it would look shiny, but the material actually has a beautiful luster. And they come in half-sizes, too.

I'm sorely tempted to order another before Tozando's winter sale ends, but some would consider this overkill given that I'm still only a 1st kyu and in my dojo we don't wear hakama until shodan :).

-Alvin

AikidoSteve 10-30-2000 11:00 PM

"Every single man ought to have his own sewing machine just so he can hem his own pants."

From spending years in the business world, I can tell you that the old desk stapler does just fine on a pants hem.

As far as a hakama, I have had a poly-blend for about 8 years and like it very much. The knees have held up very well. And I hang it up after I get home after class. I have however, made the mistake of having the iron temp. set too high and I now have a very light iron mark on my "ura". The poly is easy to take care of, but I think my next hakama will be the aiki style from Bu Jin Design. I like the way it looks and how it hangs on the aikidoka.
Yours in Aikihood
Steve Nelson


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