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Apr 26, 2012
Tips to washing hakama
by: Bob S.

Having gone through many years of aikido and kendo, washing the hakama is not one of the top things on the list, but it does help to make them look and feel presentable.

I have used the tetron (polyester) hakamas for many years and they work great, but the buildup of dust and sweat will break them down. The best method I found so far was to fold the hakama very carefully - follow the pleats, then fold it in thirds, then immerse in water - clear / clean water - no (or very little) soap and massage the water through the hakama. Once you have thoroughly immersed the material, unfold it and clip (using a pants hanger with clips) the top (koshita) and bottom and then hang to dry. Never put it in the dryer - unless you want it to shrink about 30%.

This process also works for the cotton hakamas, but be extra careful with the pleats and the clipping of the hakama. Washing a cotton hakama can really mess them up.


: Thank you for sharing your method. No dryer, indeed!

Apr 20, 2012
Washing Hakama
by: Chris G

From my personal experience, using vinegar to set the dye, or any other special methods, hasn't done much of anything to set the dye. Whether I set it or not, the water always turns the same shade of deep indigo.

As Imafuji-sensei already said, washing after every practice isn't really necessary as long as you're good with airing your gear out after you practice. Heck, most people I talk to, including myself, would go weeks or months without washing their equipment. Despite how much the dye runs, it takes more than a few washes, done right, to notice any significant loss of dye.

When you buy your first set of gear, most usually suggest that you start off with the tetron hakama. They're much cheaper, don't run due to being chemically dyed and the pleats tend to stay longer despite the abuses of the inexperienced kenshi when it comes to folding and storing. Once you get the hang of folding and know that you will practice long-term, then you can go for the better quality stuff.

Kendo-Guide.Com: Thank you for your comment. Nothing to add. Thanks, Chris!

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