We hand sew two styles of kesas and bowing cloths, or zagus. Both kesas and
bowing cloths are made
from fabric which you provide and are made according to your exact size
Soto Style Kesas for monks are traditionally made of seven
panels with two loops for tying.
Teachers occasionally request kesas of nine panels, which we can also
Rinzai Style Kesas for teachers have a slightly different design
than those for monks. The Rinzai kesa has hook and circle attached to a
flap with two tassels for tying.
Bowing Cloths (zagu) differ in the Rinzai and Soto traditions,
with the Rinzai generally being somewhat larger.
Covers for your kesa and zagu are made in two different
styles. Please see below for more information or
The size of the kesa rectangle is determined by the person’s height, or
more traditionally, by using the length of the arm. If you have
well-fitted kesa, please send the dimensions. We can determine the exact
amount of fabrics needed on the basis of those measurements.
Kesa and Zagu Border:
Average fabric requirements for a kesa and borders of the
matching zagu are about 5½ yards of 55-60"
wide fabric. If the fabric is 45" wide, 7 yards of fabric is needed.
For the main part of the kesa lightweight linen, cotton, or silk are appropriate.
However this entirely your choice.
1½ yards of lightweight white, off-white, or beige linen is required
for the backing.
For a Soto Kesa,
2 yards of rope are needed. The ties can also be made from fabric.
For a Rinzai Kesa for monks 2 black, 4" long tassels, a metal circle
and a hook are needed.
For Teachers Kesa, please call for advice on tassels, rope and circle.
We make two styles of covers for kesas:
The Envelope Style, mostly used in the
Soto tradition, is made from black trigger lined with different
colors of lining material
The Pouch Bag is a simple rectangle-shaped
bag, open on one side$45.00