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Kote Stuffing Material

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  • Kote Stuffing Material

    I am about to purchase my first set of Bogu. After research and discussions at the dojo, I am looking hard at the naname zashi bogu from I like the the 3 mm set with deer hide palms on the kote, but the stuffing is cotton. To get deer hair stuffing, I must move up to the 2 mm set. (At greater cost) I have heard that cotton will pad down after some use and reduce the level of protection while deer hair will maintain its loft far longer. Is deer hair worth the extra cost? Is 2 mm stitching excessive? Any advice would be appreciated.

  • #2
    3 posts under 3 different titles, nice.

    That aside, I've honestly never heard of deer hair being used to stuff kote. I personally think that majority of kote, men, tare use cotton (or tech'ed up cotton) as stuffing. As for me, I have 2 sets of bogu and I can tell you that the cotton, while it may flatten or get compressed, it does not reduce the overall quality. What is probably more important is how well made the actual kote is in terms of design and stitching. Tighter stitching is commonly thought of as providing better protection while sacrificing flexibility but there has been a trend in some places to use wider stitching on purpose whilst not sacrificing protection and durability.

    My opinion for your actual case? First set go for 3mm cotton. You can get that fancy stuff when you hit a landmark in your Kendo life.


    • #3
      My nicer set of kote have deer hair stuffing but this is mainly in the kobushi (fist) portion, which in theory isn't the target but still gets whacked regularly. They protect much better than my other set but I can't say if this is because of stuffing material or because it is better quality all around. For sure they stay fluffier compared to the cotton stuffed ones. For a first set I think it's ok to go with the basics then upgrade later on when you have an idea what you like.

      If you have ever tried to start a new thread in the past 3-4years you'll know why OP has three threads on the same topic. Three titles just means he thinks too much perhaps on what to title the thread.


      • #4
        Most modern bogu design, especially at the lower price levels, is going wider stitching not narrower. People have stuck in their heads that narrower stitching is better but that is not necessarily the case any more. IMO 2 mm is too narrow for machine stitching and is largely marketed to people who have that old opinion. The 2 mm bogu I've seen has been hard, stiff, uncomfortable and not any more protective than wider stitching.

        If you are looking at conventional construction, look at 3 or 4 mm stitching. But consider some of the more modern designs with wider stitching and lighter more flexible materials.


        • #5
          Thank you for your comments, Gentlemen. I decided to go with the 3mm set as advised.


          • #6
            Hi Seminole and for all that are interested.

            I had the great fortune to head over to Shogun Kendogu and talk to two of the gents there about the art of bogu making.

            Contary to what I said earlier, yes, deer hair is better as its consistency is closer to that of straw and therefore more breatheable. When it comes to stitching he said wider stitching is actually better than narrower stitching as it actually provides more cushioning rather than stiffness (which converts into straight shock).

            I'll be posting a longer length explanation on my personal blog and I'll link it here for anyone interested.