Egawa (e-gawa) is leather that has a traditional decorative design or pattern, stenciled or imprinted onto its surface. Dating back prior to the 10th century, egawa was produced from tanned or smoked kawa (rawhide), with the most common hide being the Japanese spotted deer. The patterns are applied using blue and red dye over the natural or smoked kawa. Shi-shi (lion dog) type designs are the most common of all e-gawa. Egawa could be applied to the various parts of the samurai yoroi, including the front of the Dou (cuirass) or upper platting on the front and rear of the Dou, upper section of the sode (shoulder guards) and fukigaeshi (ears) of the kabuto (helmet), to name only a few. Typically the same design of egawa was used for the entire samurai armor set with exception to the inside / reverse side of the same part / section, the Dou for example, which could be a different design or a kawa without design.
Deer leather is more traditional, however for eco / conservation reasons, Iron Mountain Armory offers hog hide to produce e-gawa along with screen printing. This kawa is more sustainable then deer. Deer egawa is available in white only. Hog egawa is available in both white and brown. Both can be ordered in several dimensions or full hide (uncut). Hide various in size but averages 60 x 90 cm.
- Genuine Deer or Hog leather.
- Traditional designs and patterns.
- Custom designs and patterns can be printed.
References: “Samurai Armour: Volume I: The Japanese Cuirass” by Trevor Absolon