The famous textile region of Yamanashi prefecture is located in one of the most beautiful and iconic parts of Japan, at the northern foot of Mount Fuji. Thanks to the clear water from the mountain's snow melt, a very productive textile industry could develop there. Its roots go back more than a thousand years. The moisty environment was perfect for cultivating silkworms and the perfectly clear creeks and rivers were conducive to the water-intensive dyeing processes of yarns. During the Edo-period (1603 – 1867), the region developed a reputation for its finely woven, colourful silk fabrics that were used as linings for the haori, the short kimono-style jackets.
Yamanashi's high-quality silk is renowned for using very thin, dyed yarns in a dense weaving technique. Moreover, the weavers excelled in jacquard patterns. In modern times, original Yamanashi fabrics found widespread use for making umbrella's, neckties, scarves and interior decoration. Since the early 1970s, their fabrics are also being ordered by high-end fashion and interior brands, both in Japan and on oversea's markets.
Yamanashi Textile Association is proud to promote four of their outstanding local companies in the Mono Japan Monthly event. They present products that were designed and manufactured entirely in their own factories, from dyeing the yarns, weaving the cloth to hand-tailoring the final products. Please enjoy. - Yamanashi Textile Association
About the makers and their products
Maker : TENJIN-factory TENJIN Factory is a small textile weaving company in close vicinity of Mount Fuji. The company was established some 70 years ago relying on the know-how and tradition of the local textile industry. At TENJIN only natural fibers are being processed for making fabrics. Linen, for instance. It is maybe the oldest material humans use for covering their bodies. Also, nowadays this natural material is still highly valued for its moisture absorbing and quick drying properties, while maintenance at home is easy. At TENJIN Factory they really cherish linen as a sustainable and healthy material. Moreover, the range of using their products is wide, and they trust that people around the world will like them. Website|Instagram About the products The products at TENJIN Factory are almost completely made in a handicraft manufacturing process. By diligently maintaining their traditional looms and tools, they are proud to continue using them. They deliver a very high-quality weaving standard, thanks to the fact these outdated machines do not damage delicate yarns. Thus, the spun yarn keeps its roundness in the weaving process and, as a result, the fabric gets a very soft and fluffy touch. Their workers are schooled in handling this delicate cloth when cutting and sewing our products in order to preserve the desired softness and beauty. They are aware that their products may wear out faster than others; but if you follow the care instructions attached to the products, you can enjoy them for a very long time.
About the Maker : Watanabe Textile The multi-talented artist Tatsuyasu Watanabe directs the Watanabe Textile Company, founded by his grandfather in 1948 in the beautiful town of Fujimi-Yoshida at the foot of Mount Fuji. Watanabe applies his knowledge of architecture and photography to his textile brand to design and manufacture contemporary woven textures for fashion and interior industries. Nowadays, the company only uses natural and recycled materials that are developed to be soft on the skin while respecting the environment. Watanabe believes that the peaceful, rich nature of the Mount Fuji area inspires him to create minimalistic and comfortable soft fabrics. Website | Instagram
About the product : Extra fine lamb cupro blanket Extra fine merino lambswool is used for the blankets, that is, they are made from very thin yarns chosen from the best quality Australian merino sheep. Merino wool fabric is highly breathable and moisture absorbing. A light and soft woven merino blanket keeps your body comfortably warm. The warp threads are made of 100 percent natural fibre cupro to prevent the wool from becoming statically charged. Cupro yarn is made from leftovers from the cotton harvest. In this way they fully exploit cotton resources and avoid waste. Thanks to the almost perfectly round cross section of the fibre of fine merino yarn, the woven fabric is plush, comfortable, warm and soft on the skin.
About the Maker : Gen Maeda The textile company GEN MAEDA was founded in 1921. As is typical of the region on the northern slopes of Mount Fuji, the GEN MAEDA company began in the silk weaving. In 1993, it broadened its focus to weaving and manufacturing products from organic cotton yarn. It was the first company in Japan to import the sustainable yarn that meets the strict international certification standards of GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standards). Now it manufactures fabrics and all kinds of cotton items like baby apparel, home wear goods and blankets. Website| Instagram
About the product : Visual Dictionary Blanket 'Visual Dictionary Blanket' is inspired by nature. The use of the digital weaving technique patented by Yamanashi prefecture and Yamanashi University allows for weaving realistic, almost photographic pictures, suggesting three dimensionality and vastness. The Visual Dictionary Blanket depict fields of wild flowers. When spread out, they bring a sense of spring into your living room. As a playful part, the blanket comes with an illustrated case for storage, that fits neatly into your bookshelf. Properly folded and cased, the blanket then looks like the spine of a book, a real Visual Dictionary.
About the Maker : Makita Shoten Textile maker Makita Shoten has a 156-year long history. The company is located at the foot of Mount Fuji, one of the most outstanding landscapes of Japan. The company's specialty has always been, and still is, weaving high quality jacquard fabrics for umbrellas and silk textiles for clothing. The entire production process takes place under their roofs, thanks to a skilled team of handicraft workers. They deliver high-tech Japan made jacquard weaving and carefully manage all manufacturing steps of their products. Website | Instagram
About the products: 'repel' series 'Repel' is a brand of rain-wear products created together with textile designer Kanna Ugai. The thin, water repellent and light weight fabric with its semi-transparent look is one of Makita Shoten's in-house technical developments. 'Repel', as the name suggests, is a thin, light weight, water repellent fabric, with a semi-transparent look.
Starry Forest (Umbrella) 'Starry Forest’, an umbrella with a starry summer night design, protects you from rain and sun. The fabric utilises an old 19th century British weaving technique called the Stevensgraph which uses coloured yarn woven into cloth to make pictures with. With the support of Yamanashi prefecture and Yamanashi University, Makita Shoten adapted the technique for our modern jacquard looms. Hence the name 'digital Stevensgraph'. 'Starry Forest’ has between 80 and 90 thousand stars woven in. The recognizable 6000 bright shining ones represent the milky way and some 40 known zodiacs. The patterns rely on real life data of the stellular firmament. Makita Shoten wants to emphasize that this is not a printing technique, but that the picture is created at the weaving loom.
Pre-order from February 1st - 28th, 2021
The items are available only through pre-order. The expected delivery is early May 2022.