Organic Cotton and Natural Washing Technique Starting with a piece of raw cotton, Tsubouchi Towels uses traditional shuttle looms for weaving the towels before giving them a finishing wash. This gentle process improves the texture and feel of the towel. The washing technique used is as natural as possible using just soap and natural enzymes.
Slow weaving for soft touch and breathable weave The shuttle loom process has its drawbacks and advantages. These looms—of which only about 50 remain in Imabari—can weave only about 30 meters of towel fabric per day. However, the old-fashioned structure of the looms offers hidden advantages that show up in the weave.
Shuttle looms woven at a much slower speed results in a looser finish to the weave and finer grain to the fabric. The loose weave gives the towels a pleasant texture and makes them more absorbent, as well as quicker to dry.
“Our towels aren’t as thick and heavy as those you might find in hotels. But the quality of the organic cotton woven on our traditional looms provides a softness and feel that Japanese customers prefer. They also dry more quickly after washing.”
A century of sustainability and quality Tsubouchi says that an overemphasis on speed and convenience has lowered not only the quality of towels, but also our quality of life.
“The modern culture of convenience and disposability is unsustainable. Cheap unsustainable goods may seem like a good deal at the moment, but when we slow down and examine the real cost [of global mass production] we can understand it would be better to slow down and invest in the quality of our daily lives.”
The leisurely pace used by Tsubouchi Towels may take more time and effort, but the result in the weave is undeniable.
ABOUT THE MAKER Tsubouchi Towel was founded in 1921 by Takashi’s grandfather Isamu Tsubouchi making Takashi the third generation to run the company. Each generation has faced its own challenges. From a complete loss after bombing in World War Two to the consolidation of the local towel industry in the 1990s. In 2001, they renewed the focus of the company on quality and launched their brand PYYLE specializing in organic cotton products made on classic looms without artificial dyes and chemicals.