I've always found that to really learn and understand something, I had to do a bunch of work and pay my dues and dedicate the time to get satisfaction. In the 1970's, I worked at a camera store so I could afford a good Nikon SLR (Single Lens Reflex) 35MM camera. I worked in various S.C.U.B.A. Stores to afford the best dive gear.
As of late, I grew frustrated with the low quality, bad durability and poor fit when it came to traditional Japanese style clothing for training. The Japanese normally make superlative products, so the only complaint I have is they don't fit my 6' 6" size. My experience is that many dealers in the kind of accouterments I wanted were cheap knockoffs made in foreign countries using only the cheapest materials and techniques. To better learn the art of tailoring, I took a job at a garment factory.
My wife, an expert textile artist, bought me an excellent Japanese made Singer sewing machine for my birthday, and taught me the basics. The heavy duty commercial machines I worked on at the garment shop were so powerful and fast, that if you made even one lapse of concentration, you would suffer a serious injury. Some of my wonderful coworkers had a sewing needle pierce her right index fingernail. It was bloody and extremely painful.
I've attended several sewing and tailoring classes since then which gave me great insight in to the art of creating patterns for a quality garment. I have a better understanding of fabric and fashion for both men and women. Did you know that Men's fashions rarely change much, if at all, relativity speaking?
This page is really just some of my personal observations. My first pair of Japanese Kyahan (leggings) was purchased from the Buki Company, and they were excellent, just too short for my tall frame.
I spent a lot of cash on my next set of Kyahan from a company I thought I could trust. The fabric was not washed and preshrunk, which causes the fabric to pucker and not fit properly. Using a serger to just keep the edges from fraying made it worse, as the poly-thread shrinks less than the fabric.
Please pay attention to the right side of my photograph. You will see this effect for yourself. I stuck a sewing pin to show the label.
I have deleted the licensed logo from my pictures of this garment for obvious reasons.
I think it's okay to make money from a product, but I insist that the product is worthy of the cash you send. This is true about anything.
After only three washes in a machine, my Kyahan started falling apart.
I wanted to make many different items for use in traditional training, my version was made of USA, American made 100% Heavy Duck canvas. It is double layered and preshrunk. I've done other things to it to make it very dependable, but I'll keep those private. Below left is a picture of my foot and leg showing how the Kyahan is used to "blouse" the leg garments of Dogi and Hakama to allow greater freedom of movement. When it comes to kicks and stealth, this configuration is very useful.
The noise and rustle of cloth is something that can give someone away.
Directly below are my photographs of my prototype on the left and the expensive Pakistan piece of crap I spent too much money on compared with my own American made Kyahan on the right on the below photograph.
My next efforts are traditional Tabi, Hakama, Shinobi Ifuku. Kimono, ETC.