Yatko (Happi Coat) Kite
A Traditional Japanese Design

   

Materials

Skin

1 sheet of or similar 62cm by 46cm

Frame -

1 off 2mm by 5mm 47cm long (top spar)
1 off 2mm by 5mm 62cm long (spine)
2 off 2mm by 4mm 73cm long (diagonal spars)

Bridles - Linen, cotton

1.5 metre long for bridle
80 cm long for bridle
1 metre long for bow line

Glue

PVA (white glue) Aquadere or similar

Paint and Indian ink for outline Water based dyes or food colouring etc for pastels and shading and a steel washer.

1. Drawing the outline
Fold the washi in half so the smooth side is in. If using a substitute material the smooth side will be the side that you later paint.
Draw the lines as shown for the kite outline on one half of the kite.
Draw a 5 cm margin (hem allowance) at the top.
By using a bamboo skewer (satay stick) or a pin etc make a small hole at points A, B, C and D. This will ensure that your kite is symmetrical.

Unfold the paper and draw connecting lines to points B´, C´, D´.
Draw the margin (hem allowance) of 5cm at the top.
Bend a piece of bamboo to a quarter circle curve and use it to mark the curved line at B.
Cut out the kite around the outline. Fold the kite in half again to cut the curve on the lower half of the kite 'wings'. Save the off cuts to cut into 1 cm strips for the tails.
Place the washi smooth side down and fold/crease along the top hem line.

2.

3. Framing
Make sure the skin is dry.
Place the kite skin face down. With the exception of the top 2cms apply a thin but thorough coating of glue to one side of the vertical bamboo spar and place in position so that the bamboo is flush with the hem crease at the top of the kite.
Glue the top horizontal spar so that the spar edge sits on the top hem crease.
Apply a thin but thorough coating of glue to one side of the bamboo diagonal spars and place in position as shown in the diagram allowing the top of the spar to extend approximately 5mm past the top horizontal spar. Repeat for second cross spar.
Cut a nick into the washi around the diagonal spars and glue and fold the 5cm hem down over the top of the bamboo.
Glue small pieces of Washi as reinforcing over the corners and spar intersecting points on the back of the kite.

4. Bridling
Make a small hole with the skewer or pin etc at points E and E´ just below the join of the diagonal and horizontal spars. Feed from the front of the kite the ends of the 1.5 metre bridle line through each hole. Loop the end back through the hole several times to ensure the bridle line is lashed around both spars. Then knot the line. Mark a point 11cm up from the bottom of the kite on the centre vertical spar, W on the diagram. Make a small hole either side of the vertical spar. Feed from the front of the kite one end of the 80cm bridle line through this hole. Loop the end back through the hole several times to ensure the bridle line is lashed around the spar. Once again knot the line. Mark a point 13 cms from the top of the kite skin and in the centre of the kite. Take the steel washer and feed the bridle loop from E and E´ and the line from W through it. Then slide the washer along the lines until it comes to rest over the mark you have just made. Hold this spot and at the same time tie the end of the line with an overhand knot. This will give a bridle with the top legs being shorter than the bottom.

Bowline
Tie the 1 metre line across the back of the kite from one end of a spar to its opposite side ensuring little or no slack.

Flying
The amount of bow can be adjusted for wind conditions by flexing the kite towards you and wrapping the slack line around the spar.
For average winds two wraps of the line are recommended.
Attach a flying line to the overhand knot and fly.
For displaying your new kite on your wall or transporting, release the bow.