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Old 07-09-2004, 08:23 PM   #1
Melissa Fischer
Dojo: Tenzan Aikido/Seattle Holistic Center
Location: Seattle, Wa USA
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 53
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how do you wash a hakama?

Hi. I have been a shodan for 33 hours and am new to the world of hakamas. My sensei sold me a used Tozando tetron (65% poly/35%rayon) hakama. It looks like it could use a washing, plus it's slightly too large and I'm hoping it will shrink a bit. I'm not sure I want to entrust it to any dry cleaners here in Seattle, will they be know how to keep the folds in? Or do I do the "drown it in a tub while still folded up" method?
Do people have favorite styles? What about the fancy new "butt flap" (sorry, I know there's a Japanese term for it ) from Bujin? How long is too long or too short? My Sempais here all seem to have differing opinions, I am trying to get a general, world wide viewpoint on these.
Thanks in advance,
Melissa
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Old 07-09-2004, 08:27 PM   #2
aikidoc
Dojo: Aikido of Midland
Location: Midland Texas
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 1,652
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Re: how do you wash a hakama?

I generally dry clean mine. I have washed them before but it did not do as well.

I personally like the Bujin aiki koshita (butt flap) . The other one always bothered my back.

Length depends on preference. It is my understanding that it is rude to show your gi pants below the hakama. I personally like mine long but that makes it easier to trip on if not careful.
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Old 07-09-2004, 08:28 PM   #3
aikidoc
Dojo: Aikido of Midland
Location: Midland Texas
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Re: how do you wash a hakama?

P.S. Congrats on your new shodan.
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Old 07-10-2004, 06:21 AM   #4
Jill N
Dojo: K-W Ki Aikido (Kitchener, Ont)
Join Date: Jun 2004
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Re: how do you wash a hakama?

Melissa:

When I first made my hakama, I put a stitch of white thread at each "peak" and each "Valley" at the hemline in case the pleats decided to wander off their original place- this makes it much easier to fold, or iron properly. To wash it: First spot clean any dirty spots that have appeared, then put some soap in warm water in the bathtub, and lower the hakama in unfolded, but extended, in the shape it would be if you were wearing it. Hold it by the waistband, and rub it from top to bottom a few times, flip it over and do the same. Drain the water and fill with clear water and repeat the whole process a couple times until you don't get any more soap off it. Then put it on the clothesline (remember those?) and put clothespins at the bottom of each pleat to hold it in place while it dries. Oh, yah- and get the neighbourhood cat to keep the birds away from it while it dries, or you may be doing the whole process again. Iron it once it is almost dry.

Another trick that Carol Shifflett taught me is to iron your hakama after spraying it with diluted vinegar. If it has any synthetics in it, it will hold that pleat forever. (use an ironing cloth, and be sure you get it right, or you will forever fight with it to fold it properly)

OR.... Wear it until it smells so bad that your fellow aikidoka won't play with you anymore, then get a new one.

OR.....If your community has a dry cleaner who understands the folds in a hakama, bring it there, but I have heard so many horror stories about bad ironing jobs from dry cleaners. (and who can blame them? There are a few wedge shaped pleats in there)

Watch out for the"step on your hakama face plant" move we all recognize so well from when we first wore hakama. My first one was shorter- for that reason (although, I still tripped on it a few times...doh!)

good luck, congrats.
e ya later
Jill N.
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Old 07-10-2004, 05:03 PM   #5
Marshall Sandoz
Location: Louisiana
Join Date: Apr 2004
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Re: how do you wash a hakama?

My first sensei ordered all of our uniforms and equipment in bulk from Century about six years ago. My hakama is a 65/35 poly/cotton blend and has held up extremely well during all that time. After the first couple of washings in the washing machine (which didn't shrink it in the least), I switched from warm water to cold water to help keep it's color from fading as quickly. I hang mine up to dry but have tossed it in the dryer on occassions where I was in a hurry. I also had to iron the pleats back in after the initial wash but they have since held for a number of years with very few touch-ups required. I will be buying another hakama soon to replace my old one and I'm thinking about the "top quality tetron" one from E-bogu($60 + shipping). The pleats are stitched to stay in place and the inseam is slightly shorter than the outseam to give it a nicer appearance when worn.
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Old 07-10-2004, 06:01 PM   #6
Chris Li
 
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Re: how do you wash a hakama?

Quote:
Jill Nielsen wrote:
Melissa:

When I first made my hakama, I put a stitch of white thread at each "peak" and each "Valley" at the hemline in case the pleats decided to wander off their original place- this makes it much easier to fold, or iron properly. To wash it: First spot clean any dirty spots that have appeared, then put some soap in warm water in the bathtub, and lower the hakama in unfolded, but extended, in the shape it would be if you were wearing it. Hold it by the waistband, and rub it from top to bottom a few times, flip it over and do the same. Drain the water and fill with clear water and repeat the whole process a couple times until you don't get any more soap off it. Then put it on the clothesline (remember those?) and put clothespins at the bottom of each pleat to hold it in place while it dries. Oh, yah- and get the neighbourhood cat to keep the birds away from it while it dries, or you may be doing the whole process again. Iron it once it is almost dry.

Another trick that Carol Shifflett taught me is to iron your hakama after spraying it with diluted vinegar. If it has any synthetics in it, it will hold that pleat forever. (use an ironing cloth, and be sure you get it right, or you will forever fight with it to fold it properly)

OR.... Wear it until it smells so bad that your fellow aikidoka won't play with you anymore, then get a new one.

OR.....If your community has a dry cleaner who understands the folds in a hakama, bring it there, but I have heard so many horror stories about bad ironing jobs from dry cleaners. (and who can blame them? There are a few wedge shaped pleats in there)

Watch out for the"step on your hakama face plant" move we all recognize so well from when we first wore hakama. My first one was shorter- for that reason (although, I still tripped on it a few times...doh!)

good luck, congrats.
e ya later
Jill N.

No offense, but wow, what a lot of work !

How I wash my hakama:

1) Throw it in the washer.
2) Throw it in the dryer.

Never had any particular problems - at least no more than washing any other colored piece of cloth. A lot of people seem to worry about the folds, but I gave up on that years ago. After all, it's really just a Japanese sweatsuit - anybody iron their running shorts? If you're really worried about appearance than keep a seperate hakama aside for demonstrations.

Best,

Chris

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Old 07-10-2004, 06:37 PM   #7
kironin
 
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Re: how do you wash a hakama?

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote:
No offense, but wow, what a lot of work !

How I wash my hakama:

1) Throw it in the washer.
2) Throw it in the dryer.

I have to admit, this is all I do too.

I am careful in folding so as to keep the pleats sharp and I don't dry much in the dryer. Just hang carefully.

also don't wash it very often.

Craig
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Old 07-11-2004, 12:32 AM   #8
Janet Rosen
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Re: how do you wash a hakama?

Tetron hak will hold its pleats well. Put in a large lingerie bag for laundering in the washing machine. Dry to partway dry in the dryer, then hang to fully dry and if you really want the pleats to stay in nicely, use clothespins at the bottom hem while it hangs to dry.

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 07-11-2004, 12:34 AM   #9
Janet Rosen
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Re: how do you wash a hakama?

[quote=Jill Nielsen]When I first made my hakama, I put a stitch of white thread at each "peak" and each "Valley"(SNIP)
To wash it: First spot clean any dirty spots that have appeared, then put some soap in warm water in the bathtub, and lower the hakama in unfolded, but extended, in the shape it would be if you were wearing it.(SNIP)Iron it once it is almost dry./QUOTE]

Jill, none of this is necessary with a tetron hak. Which is why I wear one rather than the cotton one I made....

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 07-11-2004, 02:01 AM   #10
Melissa Fischer
Dojo: Tenzan Aikido/Seattle Holistic Center
Location: Seattle, Wa USA
Join Date: Nov 2001
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Re: how do you wash a hakama?

Thanks, everybody for the advice. I love the feel of the Tetron material and how it floats around. This hakama is a bit too large and I'm hoping that washing will shrink it slightly. Sounds like that may not happen with this type of poly/rayon mix.
Have so far avoided the face plant, but I know what you're talking about. I did have an embarrassing "2 feet in one side" incident...more about that one on the humor forum.
thanks again,

Melissa
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