VOL.14 | WASHED CASHMERE
In this article, we will talk about the factory that spins the yarn for the washed cashmere fabric, located in Izumiotsu, Osaka.
Izumiotsu City, located in the southern part of Osaka Prefecture, and the surrounding area produces more than 90% of Japan's domestic blankets. Izumiotsu is the No. 1 blanket-producing city in Japan.
In 1886 (Meiji 19), the first Japanese wool fabric was made in Izumiotsu by a group of traders who made strings for paulownia boxes used in tea ceremony.
Wool was hard to get at the time, so it was made from cow's wool instead. The wool was short, hard and quite difficult to handle, so the idea was changed to "if not for clothing, then for bedding", and the first blanket in Japan was completed in 1887 (Meiji 20).
The mill in Izumiotsu is where coloured cashmere goat
hair (approx. 70%) and recycled cashmere (approx. 30%) from a Central Asian
country (Girgis) are originally blended and spun.
Only short cashmere fiberes from the spinning process are collected and only undyed cashmere is used for recycling.
Other companies use various dyed cashmere products for recycling, but ATON only uses off to brown recycled cashmere for its blends, in order to express natural colours.
The blending is done by a machine made of heavy iron,
about 20 m long.
The old domestic machine has been carefully handled
after repeated maintenance.
First, Gilgis cashmere cotton and recycled cotton is
placed in the entrance of the machine.
The cotton is then put through a diffusion process with
sharp blades, where the two different types of cotton are blended together.
The same process continues over and over again and gradually the colour becomes more uniform.
The process is very beautiful with the gentle milk tea-like colour of the still fluffy, thick sheet.
The end of the iron machine process
produces a thick, gently coloured yarn that has been prepared for yarn spinning
The yarn is then spun.
This is the process of
twisting the yarn slowly and gently.
The yarn is strongly twisted on the outside while the
centre is not twisted too much.
the threads are completed.
After the yarn is made in Izumiotsu City and woven
by a weaver in Hashima City, Gifu Prefecture, it is washed and finished to give
the fabric a rough look.
The reason for spinning with
recycled cashmere in Osaka is that we wanted the short cashmere material to
have a gentle puffiness like a blanket when washed.
Even if the domestic blanket industry is replaced by the foreign blanket industry,we hope that over time it will go from 'if not for clothing, then for bedding' to 'if not for bedding, then for clothing'.