How to Wear and Care for: Happi & Yukata

For our community group, we have one person take all of the happi we use. As a person dealing with fabric and sewing arts for years, I’m the one. Plus it gives me a chance to stay on top of repairs.

For our happi I only spot treat (Oxy Plus works great. Check in an unseen area first though before attepting) then load the washer with the happi — inside out — and set the washer for a coldwater soak only with a very large water to fabric ratio (the fabric should be loose enough to be suspended in the water).

After about an hour, with an occasional hand swish to move things around a bit, I spin out the water, then put the happi in the dryer on a super low setting just long enough for the fabric to get steamy-warm. I then hang dry on large plastic hangers.

The trick here: No agitation bigger than your hand, no detergents, no dry heat, and no ironing to “polish” the fabric. Combine these and the happi will last for years and years.

Note: Some groups do NOT wash their happi regularly. While for some fabrics this is a plus (brocades, metalized), in general the salts and bacteria will begin to decay the fabrics and will break the fibers down. Some of our guys (and gals too) are prodigious sweaters. Not washing is really not an option.

The debate on super-careful washing vs. no washing really depends on the type of fabric, and the knowledge of the person caring for the fabric.

If in doubt, don’t wash, or have it professionally cleaned.

Additional Information:

NATC09 Costume Discussion Wearing Happi Obi Hachimaki

Thanks Murray from Phoenix Taiko Kai for posting this.

NATC09 Costume Discussion Folding Yukata

Thanks Murray from Phoenix Taiko Kai for posting that.

How To Dress Yukata & Kimono by ICHIROYA.COM

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