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Old 09-14-2003, 10:29 AM   #2
PhilJ's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Bukou
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 240
Re: care of hakama and how to wear it.

Steven Tame wrote:

2/How do you clean the hakama,I heard you are not supposed to wash it... maybe it means machine wash...

In any case how do you hang up the hakama to air it so you don't mess up the folds?
I use a lint brush / sticky tape and dry cleaning. It costs a little extra for them to handle the pleats, but it's worth it. All-cotton hakama could be washed, but I wouldn't recommend it, you'll lose pleats quickly.

Get a hangar with the alligator clips on it like the department or clothing stores use. That way, you can bring the front of the hakama flush with the koshita and secure with the clips. Again, worry about the pleats because they will fall out over time.

One way to deal with the pleats (very helpful with cotton) is to topstitch them. I did this on my old hakama, where you make a perfect pleat, then use strong black thread in a sewing machine and stitch the VERY EDGE of the pleat. I know, it's cheating, but I didn't take care of my old hakama.
3/How long is the hakama supposed to be? If it touches the floor it is too long,right?
I think so, you are in danger of tripping, especially if the whole thing slides down over the course of wearing it. I had my hakama custom-made so it glides evenly _just_ above my foot, below my ankle. It is the best fit I've ever had, I enjoy it a lot.

Phillip Johnson
Enso Aikido Dojo, Burnsville, MN
An Aikido Bukou Dojo
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