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Odoshi-Ge Samurai Armour Braid


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#1 DaveT

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Posted 23 July 2016 - 05:01 PM

I think this will be useful for anyone who is trying to obtain odoshi outside of Japan. Custom made, authentic weave.

The Odoshi Project

Silk odoshi has a special weave, the strands are compacted tightly together, yet the depth is very thin. This weave prevents the braid from stretching and allows it to be fed through the small holes in the armour plates.

13775828_10153657423912190_3322482993852

Using alternatives like synthetic rayon or cotton will never delivery the same results. During the lacing process the braid is wetted with water and pressed into shape, cross knots become flat, the tips of the strands adopt a triangular appearance. Once dry the silk retains the shape.  Synthetics expel the water making it impossible to create the same finish. Cotten braid is also not acceptable as the fibres fray and become fluffy after being fed repeatedly through the holes of the armour. It has to be silk, and it has to be the correct weave.

13697048_10153657423917190_1336799414429

For years the only place to obtain odoshi was from Japan.

As a restorer I could never pre-empt what commissions were going to turn up, or how much odoshi I should stock. Exchange rates, order levels, delivery times, communication issues and availability were becoming increasing problematic.

13754386_10153657423907190_1001524391627

Therefore in 2014 I decided to take on board a venture to produce odoshi in the UK. This was a massive and challenging undertaking for me as I knew absolutely nothing about the process.

For months I researched braiding machines on the net, youtube, talked to suppliers and manufacturers.  By complete luck I stumbled upon the right contact who could custom make the machines and provide the training. I also fell on my feet when sourcing the raw silk. One of Japan’s leading silk manufacturers were impressed with my ambition that they agreed to supply me with pre-dyed silk in authentic colours.

In 2016 I was able to produce the first ever odoshi outside of Japan, made from authentic Japanese silk and weaved to exactly the same specifaction.


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#2 Jean

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Posted 24 July 2016 - 10:53 AM

I am speechlees, Dave....
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#3 Greg F

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Posted 24 July 2016 - 12:07 PM

Dave well done takling such a daunting task. Great dedication.

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#4 Brian

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Posted 24 July 2016 - 12:25 PM

Amazing. More pics..maybe some of the braid that comes out. Looks like an incredibly complicated machine. Is there enough market to justify something like this? I guess there must be. :clap:


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#5 Stephen

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Posted 24 July 2016 - 03:44 PM

A true Master :bowdown:  :bowdown:


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#6 Malcolm

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Posted 24 July 2016 - 03:51 PM

Rumour has it, the magic machine could be persuaded to create rather wonderful Sageo....Allegedly   8)

 

Pip Pip Cheerio


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#7 DaveT

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Posted 24 July 2016 - 05:27 PM

I actually have two machines now. I made the error of thinking that all widths of odoshi could be made on a single unit. I'm just relocating them to a new workroom, they weigh in at 350 kg per unit.

I should be operational by the beginning of September. The current output will produce 5-10mm. I will need another machine to produce tsuka-ito at 10mm, but should be able to make anything under that. 

In the photograph below are three examples. It took me months how to work out the correct weave. 
The orange is the final result, you can see that the weave is tight, yet the thickness is very thin, if that makes sense.

The blue below to the left shows what I would call a boot lace weave, its very open, the one to the right is compacted, like a sagio. All made on the same machine after trying hundreds of gearing combinations, tensions and number of strands filaments per bobbin head. 

the-weave.jpg

The photo below a test where I tried to match the braid used on ashigaru armours. As you can see its pretty acceptable.
 

ashgaruodoshi-header.jpg

Next up is sasaberi, with the help of Ian Bottomley we managed to have this special edging made. until now its not been used or available for 100 years.

 

sasaheri-main.jpg

Return to investment? Well I've spent around £20,000 at the moment.
I doubt that will come back from odoshi sales, but this is groundbreaking and a first for us gaijin. 

From raw silk to odoshi.
odoshishop.jpg


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#8 Brian

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Posted 24 July 2016 - 06:00 PM

So tsuka ito would be something you would put into production? Sounds interesting. Wonder if it could be done at a competitive price to Namikawa, or if the convenience would have to make up for a price difference.
Best of luck, looking forward to the progress.


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#9 DaveT

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Posted 24 July 2016 - 06:30 PM

So tsuka ito would be something you would put into production? Sounds interesting. Wonder if it could be done at a competitive price to Namikawa, or if the convenience would have to make up for a price difference.
Best of luck, looking forward to the progress.

 

I could beat Namikawa's price. I worked out their costs due to the weight of the silk.

Just so everyone knows, odoshi-ito is not the same as Tsuka-Ito. Odoshi silk filaments is around 1/95Mm and tsuka ito is much thiner at 1/285Nm.

If there is a type of tsuka-ito that isn't easily available maybe I could fill the gap, colour combinations and custom widths. The world of Nihonto is new to me, so I need to be guided by the community. 


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#10 DaveT

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Posted 31 August 2016 - 11:14 AM

Just as an update to this thread, my machines are now fully installed and operational.

I can now produce odoshi to the highest quality and to the same weave as what is being made in Japan.




 


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#11 Malcolm

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Posted 02 September 2016 - 09:11 AM

Well done Dave.,

 

Are you sure you haven't got a wallet inscribed like Samuel Jackson's in Pulp Fiction??  :ph34r:

 

Maybe a production run of Sageo or extra wide Obi (For the more rotund Gentleman) bearing that immortal message woven into it would help recoup some of your costs...  (For the connoisseur Dark Web, Hall of Fame, Sokey Dokey, Ni Ju Dan, Mc Dojo market obviously.........). :rotfl:

 

Seriously Dave, absolutely amazing effort and tenacity to bring this dream of yours into reality.  :clap:

 

がんばってください

 

 

Pip Pip Cheerio


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#12 DaveT

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Posted 02 September 2016 - 08:38 PM

Well done Dave.,

 

Are you sure you haven't got a wallet inscribed like Samuel Jackson's in Pulp Fiction??  :ph34r:

 

Maybe a production run of Sageo or extra wide Obi (For the more rotund Gentleman) bearing that immortal message woven into it would help recoup some of your costs...  (For the connoisseur Dark Web, Hall of Fame, Sokey Dokey, Ni Ju Dan, Mc Dojo market obviously.........). :rotfl:

 

Seriously Dave, absolutely amazing effort and tenacity to bring this dream of yours into reality.  :clap:

 

がんばってください

 

 

Pip Pip Cheerio

 

This was an adventurous pursuit.

There were other factors that are invisible, moving heavy 350kg machines into place, re-enforcing and underpinning floors, the whole episode was a challenge. What started out as a simple what if over a cup of tea at the Birmingham Arms Fair with Ian Bottomley eventually grew form concept to implementation to result.

I've been using my braid today on an armour and I'm really happy with it. I set out to copy the Japanese version, but produced something better. I worked out how to pre-stretch the braid during the output stage. Japanese odoshi-ito pulls, you can loose 1-2mm. This is a pain when you have to pull a plate tighter at one end as the lacing looks no uniform. But adding the pre stretch the width remains the same.

I am rather proud of this accomplishment, and its a very first for the west.

ink-blue-roll.jpg

Next week I start my new challenge, to produce egawa stencils from metal and not paper. This again is a lost art form, but I have a plan. Egawa is terribly expensive to source from Japan, my aim is to replicate the different designs at a fraction of the price.


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#13 Malcolm

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Posted 02 September 2016 - 09:17 PM

Hi Dave, just Blue - Skying here:

 

Laser cutter into brass shim or CNC maybe?

 

Printed circuit board machinery

 

Maybe try a Picture Framing workshop, some of the larger operations have quite sophisticated laser mount cutters that have a two metre plus bed.

 

Cheers Matey


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#14 DaveT

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Posted 03 September 2016 - 08:39 AM

Hi Dave, just Blue - Skying here:

 

Laser cutter into brass shim or CNC maybe?

 

Printed circuit board machinery

 

Maybe try a Picture Framing workshop, some of the larger operations have quite sophisticated laser mount cutters that have a two metre plus bed.

 

Cheers Matey

 

Jeff is on it in the USA. Laser and drag knife CNC.


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#15 DaveT

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Posted 22 September 2016 - 08:06 PM

Just an update, I've managed to make Silk Sageo. I still need to run some more tests to get this right.

This is a little yoroi doshi, I made the sageo thinner and only 1 meter long. Its a slow process running the tests, but as soon as I find a suitable setting I will be able to make these in different colours etc.
Basic tanto works out at around £25.00

14449823_10153808543897190_7410660340847


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#16 Dr Fox

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Posted 22 September 2016 - 08:37 PM

Magic Dave, on Sunday you told me of your achievements in this endeavour, I got your point but not the extent that you have shown here. 

This is an exciting accomplishment, and it is my hope that you become 'the man' in this field here in the UK.

Your personal investment spending in this project is significant, we must all do our best to support you, and ensure a financial success.


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#17 DaveT

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Posted 22 September 2016 - 10:22 PM

Magic Dave, on Sunday you told me of your achievements in this endeavour, I got your point but not the extent that you have shown here. 
This is an exciting accomplishment, and it is my hope that you become 'the man' in this field here in the UK.
Your personal investment spending in this project is significant, we must all do our best to support you, and ensure a financial success.


Thanks Denis,

Ive picked up a little contract to supply odoshi to a company thats makes gendai armour, that should cover the investment Ive made, making the silk venture fun and rewarding
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#18 Gordon Sanders

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Posted 24 September 2016 - 02:54 PM

I just saw a "waterjet" cutter called a WASER.  It might be what you are looking for 
https://techcrunch.c...azer-good-idea/


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#19 brannow

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Posted 25 September 2016 - 01:33 AM

Now this is cool!  Thanks for sharing Dave!


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#20 DaveT

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Posted 05 December 2016 - 09:57 PM

I can now put this to a close.
After a very long time I can now confirm that the Odoshi UK Project has been a success. I have been able to replicate the original braids, and my odoshi is actually improved over the Japanese version as it is pre-stretched. In the past few months I have been able to lace a few armours and make the odd tweak here and there to produce the best result and record the settings.

I noticed that my photo's have popped off from the original posting, so I'll re-post them here. I'd like to thank everyone that has supported me in this venture including Ian Bottomley. We made a concept become a reality. 

 

Odoshi-Machine1-2.jpg

Odoshi-Machine5.jpg


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#21 IanB

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Posted 05 December 2016 - 10:22 PM

I must stress that my input has been nothing. - it is Dave who has shouldered the whole burden.  What Dave has not said is that much of the material sold by various suppliers in Japan and elsewhere has a common source and there was a possibility of that source eventually closing down. What has been said on this Forum earlier about real silk braid being available from China is I am afraid a load of rubbish. Despite what the company says on their website, what they actually sell is made from artificial silk or rayon. It is such a specialist commodity, it was unlikely anyone else would set up production. At least we have our own source that we know is being produced by someone who knows exactly what is needed. 

Ian Bottomley


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#22 Malcolm

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Posted 06 December 2016 - 10:38 AM

I thoroughly applaud Dave for his determination in pursuing the dream and making it reality.


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#23 Greg F

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Posted 07 December 2016 - 05:04 AM

Just brilliant Dave! I wish you much success. All the best.

Greg
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#24 Chishiki

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Posted 18 December 2016 - 02:59 AM

kudos. Merry Christmas and a great 2017. Keep up the great effort. Mark
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#25 Jamie

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Posted 18 December 2016 - 06:20 PM

Wow man. That's remarkable.
Congratulations.
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