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Iwasa✕Yonezawa Ori A cultural heritage woven through more than 200 years of history
YONEZAWA EPISODE
- 220 YEARS OF TRADITION. THE NEW BEGINNING IN IWASA. -

  • Yonezawa woven jacquard 2WAY tote bag with shoulder strap
  • [YUMI KATSURA] Double ribbon jacquard black bag
  • [YUMI KATSURA] Cord embroidery black formal bag
  • Knitter Yonezawa Ori Formal Bag
  • Yonezawa woven tube formal bag

When I saw Yonezawa-ori for the first time, my first thought was, ``What a beautiful textile!'' I remember the excitement I felt when I didn't know much about the history and process of Yonezawa Ori.

In other words, it is a jacquard weave using triacetate thread. Yonezawa-ori has a value that cannot be expressed in words.
The expression of the fabric is very beautiful regardless of the pattern, and it is best to think about the design while looking at the pattern. Although it is work, it is also a fun time for us.

Yonezawa-ori is an essential material for Iwasa products.
Iwasa products made with Yonezawa-ori are our pride.

We hope that you will add it to your important possessions.

Representative Director and President Koji Iwasa

History and tradition of Yonezawa-ori

Yonezawa, the birthplace.

Yonezawa-ori is a general term for textiles produced in the Yonezawa region of Yamagata Prefecture.
It began during the Edo period with the encouragement of industry by the feudal lord, Yozan Uesugi.
There are tsumugi (pongee), chirimen (chirimen), kihachijo, hakamaji (hakamaji), thread weave, and monori.
It began in the mid-Edo period when Harunori Uesugi (Takayama), the lord of the Yonezawa domain, invited weavers from Echigo and introduced the weaving industry.
It is a horizontal kasuri fabric with a plain weave structure using hand-spun yarn or dupioni drawn from cotton, and is considered to be of higher quality than Meisen.
It was a favorite material for men and women's clothing and haori. After the Meiji period, it was mainly produced in the Nagai region, and because Nagai was the distribution center, it was called Nagai pongee and created a unique quality.

"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) 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.
Takayama Uesugi (Harunori Uesugi) <1751-1822>
STORY OF YONEZAWA IWASA TEAMS
  • Yonezawa textile factory 01
  • Yonezawa textile factory 02
  • Yonezawa textile factory 03
  • Yonezawa Ori Factory 04
  • Yonezawa textile factory 05

Product The Yonezawa-ori produced by Iwasa is made using a carefully selected manufacturing method that ``makes the most of the material.''

  • The material is triacetate ``Soalon'', which has excellent heat resistance and durability.

    • soft luster
    • Water absorption and quick drying
    • Light weight/cool feeling

    It uses the triacetate material "Soalon", which is produced only by Mitsubishi Rayon in Japan. The triacetate material "Soalon" is a high-quality material that is gentle on the skin and is made from high-purity pulp.It combines the natural feel of natural fibers with the functionality of synthetic fibers, creating an environment for a new generation of "wearing nature". We use materials that are gentle on the skin.

    Using a loom that is over 100 years old.

    Here, old looms from 100 years ago are used. The textiles are made gently and slowly on old-fashioned looms, bringing out the natural texture of natural materials such as cotton, silk, and linen, creating a warm, nostalgic texture. What makes it so appealing is that it's strong and the flavor gets better each time you use it. We are so particular about this that we even do the "twisting" and dyeing of some products in-house. And it dries naturally after washing. In addition, all of the garments are finished without any stitching, so they are comfortable against the skin.

    "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.
  • Yonezawa water repellent
  • Iwasa original processing that adds water and oil repellency.

    These processes are applied when dyeing the fabric, so you can get a consistent and consistent effect. The effect lasts semi-permanently. Not only the main body, but all parts such as the gusset and handle are made of processed materials. It is a high-quality material that is popular for formal use because of its unique luster and ability to dye deep black. This process is ideal for formal bags that will be used for a long time.

    During the dyeing process of the fabric, these treatments are applied, resulting in a uniform and stable effect. The effect is semi-permanent and long-lasting. Not only the main body but also all parts, including gussets and handles, are made from processed materials. It is a popular high-end material for formal use, known for its unique glossiness and deep black color. This processing is ideal for formal bags intended for long-term use.

VOICE IWASA's manufacturing would not be possible without collaboration with craftsmen. I asked the craftsman.

  • Q1.What is the difference between Yonezawa-ori and other production areas?

    What are the differences between Yonezawa weave and other production areas?
  • Yonezawa-ori has a long history, starting with linen fabrics and silk fabrics, and is now a production area that can produce a wide range of products including Japanese clothing, men's and women's clothing, and formal wear, including synthetic fibers and composite textiles with synthetic fibers. Masu.
    In the field of weaving, it is a production area with technical capabilities comparable to Como in Italy, which is said to be the best in the world. 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.

  • Q2. Please tell us about the difficulty of working with triacetate yarn and the reason for using triacetate.

    Please explain the challenges in handling triacetate yarn and the reasons for using triacetate.
  • There are several reasons to use it.
    ① To make it a one-of-a-kind material.
    ②As the main raw material is natural pulp, it is eco-friendly and sustainable.
    ③Excellent gloss and coloring can be expressed.
    We use triacetate when developing materials based on these three factors.
    However, since triacetate is a very delicate fiber, careful and time-consuming work and skilled techniques are required to control the LOT from warping to weaving, and to prevent wrinkles during the dyeing process and maintain surface quality. For this reason, each process requires a specialist, and by dividing labor, we are able to achieve efficiency and high quality in each process. 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.

  • Q3. We've been hearing about the impact of the coronavirus in many places, but what was it like for Yonezawa Ori?

    I hear about the impact of COVID-19 in various places, but how was the market movement of Yonezawa-ori (Yonezawa silk weaving)?
  • Due to the outbreak of the coronavirus and the slump in consumption due to restrictions on going out, production volume has fallen to 30% of its peak level. Although it gradually recovered as it started to end around the fall of 2022, it has remained at 80% of its peak level to date. Although there are many problems with production, etc., we will not give up and will continue to develop new products and develop new sales channels by utilizing Yoneori's technology. 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.

  • End storyAfter the interview

    After the interview.
  • Heaven, earth, and people are cited as the factors behind Yonezawa's development as a textile production area.
    Ten ...The Yonezawa region is experiencing heavy snowfall and is also a cold region, so I had to choose to work indoors.
    Land : Yonezawa has had hemp as a raw material since ancient times, and since then, the area has prospered as a producer of silkworms, and is good at working with natural materials, as well as being abundant.
    People : Ever since the great master Takayama, he has always had the patience and tenacity to proactively develop new products.
    Yonezawa's craftsmanship is probably due to the long history mentioned above. 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.Black Formal By using triacetate as a material, the quality of black can be dyed into a deep formal black. It's no wonder that Yonezawa-ori is used for high-quality black formal wear. By dividing labor, we can improve quality and planning ability, and because we can compensate for everything at the production area, we can realize small lots, which is a strength that other production areas do not have. That's why Iwasa uses many types of Yonezawa-ori jacquard, and is able to use a wide variety of patterns. Fabrics have been and will continue to be indispensable to Iwasa, which is committed to making products made in Japan. I'm excited and looking forward to new developments in the future. 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 commonly 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.

Recommended formal bags

1st place in ranking

Yonezawa woven formal bag with built-in magnet

Fully made of high quality Yonezawa woven fabric.
Furthermore, it has inner magnet functionality.

The satin cover is not only a design accent, but also a strong polyester satin material that is touched by the hands when opening and closing.
The high-quality satin with reduced luster is designed to be a comfortable accent in Yonezawa-ori.

Click here for product page
size
Vertical 18 x horizontal (top) 23.5/(bottom) 26 x gusset width 9cm
weight
Approximately 350g
Surface treatment
Water/oil repellent
country of origin
Japan
price
19,800 yen including tax
2nd place in the ranking [YUMI KATSURA] Double ribbon jacquard black bag [YUMI KATSURA] Double ribbon jacquard black bag

[YUMI KATSURA] Double ribbon jacquard black bag

The rose pattern, which is synonymous with the Katsura Yumi brand, is woven with Yonezawa Ori for black formal wear.

Fabrics woven using a technique called [Fureori] have a pattern that stands out compared to regular fabrics, giving you a distinct difference from other fabrics. ``Feminine and elegant, no matter how old you are...'' Yumi Katsura's desire for you to dress femininely in any occasion is expressed with a neatly shaped ribbon.

Click here for product page
size
Vertical 15 (18 including ribbon) x horizontal (top) 23.5, (bottom) 26 x gusset width 9cm
weight
Approximately 385g
Surface treatment
Water/oil repellent
country of origin
Japan
price
29,700 yen including tax
3rd place in the ranking Yonezawa woven soft formal bag (hidden magnet specification) M Yonezawa woven soft formal bag (hidden magnet specification) M

Yonezawa woven soft formal bag (hidden magnet specification) M

Although it has a compact appearance, it is large enough to hold necessities such as long wallets, fukusa, prayer beads, pouches, and mobile phones.

The textured fabric used on the front is an original Yonezawa-ori fabric woven with formal thread. It has been treated to be water and oil repellent, so you can use it with confidence even in the rain. If it gets wet from rain, or if it gets dirty from foundation, please wipe it gently with a dry cloth.

Click here for product page
size
Vertical 17cm x horizontal 31cm x gusset width 10cm
weight
Approximately 200g
Surface treatment
Water/oil repellent
country of origin
Japan
price
17,600 yen including tax

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