Choosing your belt

Choosing the type of Outer

There are basically three different types of outer material for belts to choose from. Each has its own particular properties.

  • 100% cotton

  • 100% satin 

  • Silk

The advantage of the 100% cotton outer is that it is the most traditional. The colour fades naturally over time and the belt ages beautifully. It also has very good durability and tends to tie better as there is more friction so less slip of the knot.

The advantage of the satin outer is that it has a nice shiny look and retains its deep colour for longer. It also has good durability and doesn't fade or fray as much.

The advantage of the silk outer is that it is undoubtedly the best looking belt and is truly a luxury. It has a nice shine (but not glare) and ages the most beautifully giving faded, experienced look desired by many. Because of the delicacy of the material it tends to sit the most naturally of the three types, and is the most malleable, however it is the least durable.

Choosing the Belt Width and Thickness 

This is controlled by the properties of the inner core. All three manufacturers offer a range of belts based on the width and thickness of the belt. Please see each manufacturer's belt types for description.

The cheapest black belts and colour belts are of normal thickness (single cotton core) and are usually 4cm or 3.8 cm wide respectively. These thinner normal belts have the advantage that they are cheaper and easier to tie and keep in place.

The upper range belts tend to have a double thick cotton core and are usually 4 or 4.5cm wide. These thicker and wider belts  have the advantage that they look much better and are far more durable. Long term, they are a much better investment. The disadvantage is they are difficult to tie and keep tied for the first few months of use.

Choosing a Manufacturer

All three manufacturers produce the highest quality of products and choosing the manufacturer is again down to personal choice. This can be based on personal preference, club standard or recommendation. Many people will try to match their belt with their dogi.

Choosing the size

For the normal thickness and  4cm wide high quality thick belts, we recommend using the formula:

  • (Waist in cm) x 2 + 110 to 120 cm (depending on if you want a standard length belt or long hanging belt. This can in turn be dependent on the amount of embroidery.)

for the "extra thick and wide" belts we recommend:

  • (waist in cm) x 2 + 120 to 130cm  (depending on if you want a standard length belt or long hanging belt. This can in turn be dependent on the amount of embroidery.)

This is because, as the belts are wider, the knot tends to be bigger and the belt will hang shorter when tied.


The best way though according to the manufacturers is to go by the length of the belt you are using now and make calculations from there.



*please note that the 3 manufactures claim a +/- 5cm margin of error  on the lengths of the belts due to the difficulty of getting exact measurements as belts tend to shrink  during the stitching and embroidery process.



Getting Embroidery


Getting embroidery done on belts is standard practice in Japan and very common elsewhere. It is the best way to show recognition of one's achievement, or respect for ones style or associations (besides looking fantastic).

All these manufacturers pride themselves on their embroidery. On these specially ordered  belts, the belt is made after the embroidery is done onto the material. Thus the embroidery does not go through the belt (as seen on cheaper belts sold by other companies). This is a sign of true craftsmanship in the eyes of these manufacturers.


Each manufacturer uses a different standard font to distinguish themselves (but other fonts may be available on request).

The standard colour is golden brown (though this color is actually different from each manufacturer) but all manufacturers can do a range of colours. If there is a colour that you want but cannot see on the order form, please contact us.


Regarding the type and language of embroidery, please see here for further information. Please note, again this is based on personal choice or the standard within the club or association.


If you have any further questions or need further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.