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Old 03-10-2002, 12:06 PM   #11
Peter Boylan
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 291
Hi John,

I've just started visiting here. I'll try t answer your question about the color treatment on the cotton indigo hakama. The manufacturer is Meirin Sangyo, the top budo clothing manufacturer in the Kansai region of Japan (that's the Kyoto/Osaka/Nara area). This particular treatment is a relatively new process for treating the hakama, and Meirin is quite secretive about it. I will say that it doesn't have a filmy texture like I have encountered on some colorfast garments.

For all that, I find that I personally much prefer the tetron (which is less than half the cost of the top grade hakama). Tetron is the comercial name for a particular polyester blend. The tetron doesn't develop the shiny, stretched out knees nearly as quickly as cotton. I've been doing iaido (which is tons of suwariwaza) in my tetron hakama for 3 years and it's just beginning to show up on the knees. On the other hand, my cotton hakama all show the wear in the knees within a few months.

The real reason I prefer the tetron though is the incredible ease of care. It holds it's pleats beautifully without having to be ironed after every second practice. It doesn't develop wrinkles like cotton does. I can even wash it several times before it needs to be ironed to touch up the pleats. With my cotton hakama, they MUST be ironed after every washing, and if it comes unfolded in my bag, it needs another ironing. The tetron hakama looks great even if it has been tossed in the bag and left for a week (I know some people that have done this).

On the other hand, for uwagi, please make mine cotton. In a hakama, the fact that synthetic fabrics don't breath isn't a problem, since hakama are so loose. But for uwagi, I love cotton, even if it does require a little extra care.

Peter "the Budo Bum" Boylan

Peter Boylan
Mugendo Budogu LLC
Budo Books, Videos, Equipment from Japan
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