"Yonezawa Ori" is a general term for textiles produced in the Yonezawa region of Yamagata Prefecture, Japan. It started during the Edo period through the industrial encouragement of the feudal lord Uesugi Takayama. Varieties include Tsumugi (pongee silk), Chirimen (crepe), Yellow Hachijo, Hakamaji (hakama fabric), Itoori (thread-woven), and Monori (pattern-woven). In the mid-Edo period, Yonezawa's feudal lord Uesugi Harunori (Takayama) invited weavers from Echigo and initiated the textile industry. Yonezawa Ori is woven using hand-spun thread drawn from true cotton or silk thread, and it features horizontal stripes in a plain weave structure. It is considered superior to Meisen and was favored for clothing and robes. After the Meiji era, production centered around the Nagai region, leading to the term "Nagai Tsumugi," characterized by its unique quality.
"soalon," a material made from triacetate, is exclusively produced by Mitsubishi Rayon in Japan. Triacetate material "soalon" is a high-quality material with a gentle feel on the skin, primarily using high-purity pulp as its main ingredient. It combines the natural texture of fibers with the functionality of synthetic fibers, making it an environmentally friendly material for the new generation that embraces "wearing nature."
Here, traditional looms from 100 years ago are used. Fabrics woven gently and slowly on these traditional looms bring out the inherent texture of natural materials such as cotton, silk, and hemp, creating a nostalgic and warm quality. The appeal lies in the fact that the textiles become stronger and gain character with each use. The attention to detail is unwavering, with some products even undergoing processes like "twisting yarn" and dyeing in-house. Additionally, the drying process after washing is kept natural. All of this results in a feature where the fabrics are finished without seams, contributing to a comfortable feel against the skin.
The text discusses the use of the Triacetate material "Soalon," produced solely by Mitsubishi Rayon in Japan. This material is characterized by its high quality and skin-friendly properties, as it is primarily derived from high-purity pulp. It's a next-generation material that combines the natural touch of organic fibers with the functionality of synthetic fibers, making it suitable for an environmentally-conscious approach to fashion.
What are the differences between Yonezawa weave and other production areas?
Yonezawa weave has a long history, starting with hemp and silk textiles, and now includes complex fabrics made from synthetic and blended fibers. It has become a production area that can produce a wide range of items such as traditional Japanese clothing, men's and women's clothing, and formal wear. In the field of weaving, it is a region with a level of technical expertise that rivals Italy's Como, which is said to be the best in the world in terms of weaving technology.
Please explain the challenges in handling triacetate yarn and the reasons for using triacetate.
しかし、トリアセテートはとても繊細な繊維のため、整経から織までのLOT管理や染色加工時のシワ、表面品位の維持のために、丁寧に時間をかけた作業と熟練された技術が必要です。そのため各工程にスペシャリストが必要で分業制にすることで、各工程の効率、高品質を実現しています。There are several reasons for its use:
1:To create unique materials.
2:It utilizes natural pulp as the primary material, enabling compatibility with ECO and sustainability efforts.
3:It allows for excellent gloss and color expression.
Based on these three factors, triacetate is used for material development. However, due to its delicate nature, careful work and skilled techniques are essential for tasks ranging from warp preparation to weaving to maintain lot management, prevent wrinkles during dyeing processes, and uphold surface quality. Thus, specialists are necessary for each stage of the process to ensure efficiency and high quality.
I hear about the impact of COVID-19 in various places, but how was the market movement of Yonezawa-ori (Yonezawa silk weaving)?
コロナが発生し、外出制限などで消費が低迷した影響をまともに受けた形になり、生産量はピーク時の３０％まで落ち込みました。２０２２年秋くらいから終息に向かったことで徐々に回復したものの、現在までピーク時の８０％で落ち着いております。生産等、問題は多くありますが、あきらめることなく米織の技術を生かし新商品開発、新規販路開拓等、取り組んで参ります。The impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, coupled with factors such as restrictions on outings, led to a significant decline in consumption. This directly affected production, causing it to plummet to 30% of its peak level. While a gradual recovery began around the autumn of 2022 as the situation started to improve, the production levels have stabilized at around 80% of the peak levels up to the present. Despite various challenges in production and other aspects, efforts are being made to leverage the skills in Yonezawa silk weaving for new product development and expanding into new sales channels, without giving up.
After the interview.
米沢が織物産地として発展した要因には天・地・人が上げられています。 天・・・米沢地方が豪雪で、寒冷地帯でもあるため、屋内の作業を選ばなければならなかった。 地・・・米沢には古くから原料としての麻があり、その後、蚕で産地が栄えるなど天然素材の扱いが得意な上、豊富だった。 人…名君鷹山公以来、常に新しい商品開発を積極的に取り組む根気と粘り強い気質。
The factors that contributed to Yonezawa's development as a textile-producing region include natural conditions, geographical attributes, and the characteristics of its people. [natural conditions]...Due to the heavy snowfall and cold climate, the Yonezawa region had to choose indoor work. [geographical characteristics]...Yonezawa has had hemp as a raw material since ancient times, and later, it excelled in dealing with natural materials such as silkworms, contributing to its prosperity. [people's characteristics]...Since the reign of the excellent ruler Lord Takayama, there has been a persistent and tenacious spirit in actively engaging in new product development. The artisan spirit of Yonezawa is likely shaped by the ancient history mentioned above.ブラックフォーマルに重要な、黒の良さは素材にトリアセテートを使用することで深みのあるフォーマルブラックに染まることができます。高級ブラックフォーマルウエアーに米沢織が使用されるのも納得です。
分業制にすることで、品質や企画力を向上させ、産地で全てを補うことができるため小ロットを実現できる点が、他の産地に無い強みになっています。だからこそ「岩佐」でも数多くの米沢織ジャガードの使用し、柄のバリエーションも多く使用することが可能になっています。今までもこれからも、日本製に拘る「岩佐」にはなくてはならない織物。今後の新開発に期待でワクワクします。The excellence of black in black formal wear lies in the use of triacetate material, allowing it to be dyed into a deep and formal black color. It's understandable that Yonezawa weave is used in high-quality black formal wear. By employing a division of labor system, the quality and planning abilities are enhanced, enabling the realization of small batches thanks to the ability to supplement everything locally. This unique strength sets it apart from other regions. That's why "Iwasa" also extensively employs Yonezawa weave jacquards, enabling a wide variety of patterns to be used. Existing and future development alike, this textile remains indispensable for "Iwasa," a brand committed to Japanese-made products. I look forward to exciting new developments ahead.