The scroll doesn’t show them, but most hitatare I have seen are embellished with little knots called kotsuyu . I’ve made these in the past for my green hitatare and for Sir Morgen’s daimon hitatare. I want to get some pictures of me wearing the daimon before I add braids, so that it matches the scroll, but I do eventually want to add braids. To that end, I spent a few days making braids.
All of the braids are made from sixteen ends on black laceweight silk yarn per tama, and are simple 8-tama round edo yatsu braids. The pile at the bottom is 9 15-inch braids to make the kotsuyu knots, 5 for the hitatare and 4 for the hakama. The 2 braids with looped ends are for the munahimo chest ties at the front of the hitatare. The two very small knots are for the vestigal sodetsuyu sleeve knots at the bottom of the sleeve ends.
A while back (more than a year ago, probably) I was browsing the online collections of the Metropolitan Museum of art, and I found a hanging scroll called “A Nenbutsu Gathering at Ichiya, Kyoto“, which is an excerpt from the “Illustrated Biography of the Monk Ippen and His Disciple Ta’a”.
Now, I am not a big fan of the Pure Land Buddhism favored by Ippen, but I was instantly drawn to a figure in the middle foreground. Not only is he wearing a bright-colored hitatare, it’s a daimon hitatare decorated with a triple-hexagon motif (my registered badge is hexagonal), and I look kind of like him with a beard and narrow stature.
This has been the reason for me buying bright orange linen at Pennsic, me learning to carve wooden printing blocks, and me spending hours practicing printing and actually printing yards and yards of fabric.
Behold, my daimon hitatare:
The outfit still needs some finishing touches, but I am so happy with the way main construction went on this garment that I thought I would post some photos. I still need to make a samurai eboshi hat, and a fan if I want to complete my recreation of this guy from the painting. I am torn about adding the kotsuyu and sodetsuyu knots to the garment. I know they should be there to make a proper daimon hitatare, but they are not visible in the painting.
Spent the last two days prepping fabric and planning, and spent the whole morning block-printing some fabric.
Now, every available surface in my office is draped with fabric. There’s very little bleed through the fabric, and the printing is actually thin enough that it does not run or drip, and dries quickly. I used Jacquard “Textile Color” with “Air Fix” additive. Even so, I will probably spend tomorrow heat setting with an iron just in case.
All in all, I did almost 100 impressions of the badge today, and another dozen or so impressions while testing. This is all from just one of those little 2.25 fluid ounce jars of paint. There’s still some paint left, too.
First complete garment from block-printed fabric is this kataginu vest. I have a much larger project I’m working on, but this garment enabled me to do a batch of test prints like the one I posted the other day. Later, I was able to make a garment from some of the tests.
It’s really super difficult to get all the wrinkles out of linen this thick. It’s great stuff, going to make awesome garb, but wrinkly. The printing came out good. I had to print back mon on both pieces before sewing, because printing across the seam with allowances on the inside would not have worked as smoothly.
Recent experiments applying the mon of Clan Yama Kaminari to fabric have demonstrated to me that I am most happy with machine embroidered versions. They are durable, attractive, and can be made by a robot. This last is handiest because I want to embark on a project to make probably several dozen of these so that when we do something like march in a festival parade or rocess into court as a group, we can have a uniform look. Here are two prototypes I made over the last few days.
Even with a robot to do all of the embellishment work, it’s still labor intensive to get the fabric loaded onto the machine just right to get good results exactly where you want them. It also takes about ten minutes to complete each mon, so that’s going to be a lot of time if we make a whole bunch of these.
When you are recognized for your achievements in the SCA, you are typically inducted into an order, and you receive both a scroll and a piece of regalia. Usually, the regalia is a medallion or belt favor that displays the heraldry of the order. Making belt favors is one of the main uses to which I put my embroidery machine. I’ve designed stitch patterns for most of the kingdom orders, and try to set aside some time and resources each year to make some for donation.
New for this batch is the Gage. The symbol of this order is actually a black glove, and the regalia given is often an actual glove, but I figured someone might prefer a belt favor.