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Old 03-09-2010, 09:44 AM   #6
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 3,181
Re: Bujin Help Please :O)

The trick I was taught back when was to soak a new indigo hakama or keikogi in cold water with vinegar to help fix the dye -- otherwise you turn yourself and the mats smurfy blue. My current Bujin hakama doesn't seem to have this problem, but whatever. (edit: and of course, you've got to give it a gooooood rinse afterwards, or you'll smell like salad dressing!)

As for washing and pressing, I don't think dry cleaning will shrink it, but I can certainly believe that the typical dry cleaner would butcher the pleats. I just washed a well-worn all-cotton hakama in my front loader (if you don't have a front loader in your life, trust me, you need one), delicate cycle, cold water, extra rinse, normal speed spin...then took it out right away and hung it up with a skirt hanger. It was stiff like canvas when I took it out and I thought, "oboy this is never going to work," but I just gently straightened out the worst of the mess and left it to hang. A day later, just very faintly damp, I found that the pleats had pretty well re-established themselves. One of my sempai told me that it's good to fold it then, when it's just very slightly damp, but I'm going to give this a good ironing with starch -- one pleat at a time. I don't think it will be that hard. If you're someone who would find ironing a dress shirt challenging, though, you might not want to tackle this yourself -- I know that a lot of people nowadays just don't ever do any ironing, and I wouldn't choose a hakama as an intro-to-ironing project.

Last edited by lbb : 03-09-2010 at 09:45 AM. Reason: salad dressing
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