The quality of the silk used, the quality of the dyes and how the colors are set and most importantly the choice of weave have a great deal to do with what discerns a great sageo from a mass produced item.

Traditionally, the weave was considered a secret process as done properly, the sageo had a martial value as armor according to documents dating back to the 11th century.

Today, the concept of martial value might be lost to history but this accoutrement to the Japanese sword is one area where the exponent can express personality.  Some weaves were even said to be more resilient to being cut or placed under flame.

The most common materials used today are cotton and silk.  Cotton is quickly being transplanted by a synthetic which is less expensive and easier to mass produce because of cotton’s stretching properties.  Silk is considered the better choice as silk is stronger than cotton and retains the dye better than cotton.