ATON for 2021SS features beautiful pink items interspersed with rich gradations of grey items. The colour palette is like a consolation for the flowers that fell without seeing the light of day this spring.

When We were working with an Italian fabric manufacturer, with whom we have been developing stretch fabrics for many years, to create a top grey stretch fabric with a unique soft and light texture, I came across a book called 'Primary Colours of Japanese Art'. Looking at the ink paintings in the book, I was strongly inspired by the beauty of the faded colours of the paper as they change over time, which makes each ink painting more tasteful, and so I composed the collection in various tones of grey.

The blue used in the binding of the first printing of the 'Art of Japan in Primary Colours' was dyed with Ryukyu indigo for the colours used for the inserts, while the deep red called Suhoi-iro was reproduced with ATONCOLOUR's botanical dyeing, using a dye extracted from Sappan wood plant.

Sappan wood
A dark purplish red colour dyed from the bark and heartwood of the leguminous sappanwood tree. Suoh originates from India and the Malay Peninsula. Also used as the name of the colour of the "sousa kasane", which is light brown on the front and dark red on the reverse side.
It was a traditional colour name mentioned in the Engishiki (Engi Shiki), and was used by the aristocrats of the Heian period (794-1185) and was a noble colour.

Cosmic hemp
Hemp is one of the oldest plants cultivated by mankind, with a history of more than 10 000 years. Since ancient times it has been considered to have strong powers and has been treated as sacred. With a nutritional value comparable to that of soya beans, hemp is also one of the three most important grasses (three particularly important grasses cultivated during the Edo period) and has been cultivated as a major crop alongside rice. Hemp charcoal is made by burning the peeled skin of hemp stalks, known as hemp husks. In Japan, hemp is used as a warmer, for fireworks and as a drawing medium.

Bamboo Charcoal
Bamboo charcoal is a generic term for charcoal made from carbonised bamboo. Bamboo has various effects such as sterilising and deodorising, and it is said that people who use bamboo in daily life, such as bamboo craftsmen, do not suffer from cancer, It is said that the reason animals do not rot when they die in bamboo forests and do not smell when they defecate is because of their close relationship with bamboo.

Japanese walnut

Japanese walnut is a deciduous tree, widely distributed from Kyushu to Hokkaido. It is common mainly along rivers in the mountains. It has large, odd pinnate compound leaves, which are particularly conspicuous with drooping male inflorescences during the flowering season in early summer. The shell is thick and hard, so it is not easy to remove cleanly. Taste is rich and keeps well.


Logwood is a natural plant dye.
It is a tall evergreen tree of the legume family native to Mexico and South America. It is said to ward off evil spirits and is used as a dye for Buddhist robes, and is said to have dyed Napoleon's coat and Admiral Nelson's jacket in the British fleet. Depending on the mordant used, it can be dyed from purple, dark brown and grey to a dark blackish colour with these tints. The colour known as 'true black' is created by chemical transformation with chrome oxide. The plant is also used to dye mourning clothes.

Bincho charcoal

Bincho charcoal is a type of charcoal, which is said to have been named 'bincho charcoal' after Chozaemon Binchuya, who started making and selling it from ubame oak trees.

Aobana is a variety of the daylily cultivated only in the Lake Biwa area (Kusatsu). It is a plant with blue petals of about 3.4 cm. Since the Edo period (1603-1868), it has been a specialty of Kusatsu, and aobana paper has been made by squeezing the picked aobana into a blue liquid, applying it to Japanese paper, and drying it in the sun 80-90 times. It is also known to have been used as a dye for the underpainting of yuzen dyeing and as a pigment for ukiyoe woodblock prints in the Edo period (1603-1868).