This restoration was part of a complete suit. The armour had come from the Higgins Armoury Museum located in Worcester, Massachusetts USA. The suit must have been on open display as it was severely damaged by UV. All the silk odoshi had rotten away. My job was to replace all the odoshi. What was a disappointment for me was that the dealer did not want to repair the UV damaged urushi surface which was heavily pitted and discoloured.
Luckily the do was of russet iron and was easily cleaned and oiled. The Mogami style of armour such as these is very common during the edo period. They were a renaissance armour and worn by state officials, so many bear the Kiri mon. Mogami are constructed using ita mono horizontal iron plates which are tied together using leather tomegawa and silk odoshi. Each ita mono lame has a small chotsugai hinge at each end which is used to join each section together. This example is a go-mai do having five sections that make up the nagakawa.
What you can see from the above images is how the ita mono sections are tied together using tomegawa and odoshi. First, the tomegawa internal tie that is concealed by the wider silk braid. As soon as the odoshi is in position the internal ties are pulled in, this locks the sections of plates together to form a rigid form. As the odoshi is in the sugake style each kedate section had to be plugged to prevent any distortion when hung upright.
Putting this do together was a challenge. Normally I would suspend the do from a frame and work with it suspended, but the Mogami style is joined with hinges that create a curve. So I had to assemble this flat, for this I made some supports to raise the sections away from the floor.
Replacing the abiki cords was another new challenge. I had never taken note that the actual cord was packed inside the padding of the watagami. Carefully I cut open the stitching between the egawa, then removed the old cord and threaded a replacement. I carefully stitched the two sections back together to complete the replacement.
The images above show the finished do. I made a rawhide belt to attach the kusazuri which I had also replaced with silk odoshi. I also replaced the large agemaki bow and sode fusa with silk reproductions.