The sageo is the knitted material used to tie the sword to a martial artists obi (sash) and the ito or tsuka-ito is the knitted material that wraps the handle. This fabric can be of a variety of different materials depending on the preference of the blade furnishes and the value of the blade. It was common to use a basic woven wool as well as very high priced Japanese silk on high end swords. The Japaneses culture is very impressive when it comes to it's attention to detail. And like most things the creation of sageo is a well practiced and mastered skill. The sageo itself can take days to complete and be woven in very complex patterns creating vividly beautiful and colorful artistic creations. Today we also use modern synthetic materials and leathers for martial arts which can offer some additional grip to the tsuka.
These are some photo's of several different Sageo found on the Japanese katana that we offer.
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