Pumping Iron

The biggest downside to wearing costume that's appropriate for a medieval Japanese persona is all the ironing. Not only did Japanese wear a lot of wrinkly fabrics like linen and silk, most of these were intended to be worn either completely smooth, or sharply pleated.

Ironing a kosode is fairly simple, since it's one of the flat items, but it must also be folded in a prescribed manner. Hakama must be ironed flat to remove all the wrinkles, then ironed again to set the pleats, then folded carefully to preserves the pleats without introducing new wrinkles. All told, it takes about 45 minutes to prepare hakama for storage. This could be sped up if we had a clothes press that was about two feet wide, but we don't.

This means that laundering, ironing, and folding all of my wafuku (Japanese garb) takes hours and hours. With the time I usually have after Pennsic that can be alotted to this task, it normally takes about a week and a half, which is lonbger than it took to wear all that clothing, of course.

2008.08.21 at 11:30am EDT