With machine stitching, the futon doesn’t have as much spring, so the shock absorption is adjusted by changing the materials used. It’s important to take the materials into consideration when choosing a mask. When choosing your kendo bogu set, it’s best to start with the stitching on the futon. With hand stitching, each stitch is carefully tightened into the thick futon. On the other hand, machine stitching uses an electric powered sewing machine to stitch the futon.
Hand stitch futons have better shock absorption than machine stitched futons, but hand stitched futons take a little longer to break in. However, there are techniques like fit stitching that change the stitch length to make machine stitched futons more like hand stitched ones. Because of this, it’s also possible to get good shock absorption from machine stitched futons.
While machine stitching has improved a lot, hand stitching can still make a huge difference in your kendo stance. Nothing can quite beat the texture, quality, and intimidating look of hand stitching. For beginners or for practice use, a machine stitched orizashi bogu dries fast and has good shock absorption.
When choosing a mask, there are a few types. Orizashi fabric which is an indigo quilted fabric, Clarino synthetic leather, or indigo deerskin leather. Orizashi breathes well and allows for sweat to dry fast. It also is very elastic and soft, so it’s easy to break in. It’s often recommended for practice or for beginners.
Synthetic leather is reinforced to be strong against friction and sweat, but because it is dyed synthetically the color can fade with use and there can be a large difference in color between the synthetic leather and the fabric on the mask.
Deerskin leather is fine grained and dyed indigo, so it has a high-quality feel and is the most impressive looking bogu.
At Tozando, we have many types of high quality bogu made by our highly trained craftsmen. We also have many kendoka on our staff, including a 7-dan instructor, who help with product development. We strive every day to develop and create new, well-loved kendo gear.