"It's been half a year to complete one piece"
Crystal of technology that ultra-fine threads weave
Nishikatsura is located in the southeastern part of Yamanashi prefecture.About 8 of the
area is occupied by forests, and this area is blessed with a rich water system that flows from the foot of Mt. Fuji and Lake Yamanaka, and is known as a famous place for weaving since ancient times.
It was after the Edo period that the production area had made great progress. The technique of "making silk fabrics from silk moth threads", which has been handed down in the land of Nishikatsura, is useful for the lining of kimonos and is popular. The high-quality silk material has become known to many people as "Kai silk".
Nishikatsura Town, Yamanashi Prefecture, where the melted snow of Mt. Fuji flows
In Nishikatsura, Muto Co., Ltd. continues to take on the challenge of passing on the textile culture to the next generation while carefully preserving traditional techniques.
This time, we interviewed Mr. Muto Wataru , who is in charge of sales and design here.
" It seems that you have an intuition that" this is it! "For its soft texture and superb comfort "
Muto was founded in 1967 . It is derived from the fact that we started manufacturing bedding cloth (yaguzabu) using Kai silk for the grandfather of the previous generation.
A nightwear cushion is a set of bedding such as a bed, pillowcase, and cushion. At that time, it was customary for women to prepare a set of them as wedding items when they married, so it is said that they have been stable and blessed with customers.
However, with the changing times, the bedding culture is gradually declining … .
Under such circumstances, it was Mr. Hideyuki Muto, who is a modern table, who felt the need to drastically review the business and decided to switch the main product to "stall".
Around this time, his father frequently went to department stores looking for hints on new products to replace bedding. There he came across a 100% cashmere stole in Loro Piana.
When I first picked it up, it seemed to be overwhelmed by its soft texture and superb comfort. It seems that I instinctively .
Loro Piana is an Italian luxury clothing brand known to those in the know. Above all, the quality of the stall is said to be the industry No.1 , and the high quality material was obvious to everyone.
However, what was amazing about Mr. Muto was that he was not only impressed when he learned of its existence.
How can we overcome the unique texture of Loro Piana's stall?
, I bought the product. I took it back to the factory and immediately started researching and developing materials.
I want to make something that exceeds the world's top quality in-house.
The project, which started from Mr. Hideyuki's serious thoughts, boldly overcame many difficulties on the way, and took shape in 1993 . muto The symbol of the brand The finest silk cashmere stole of ultra-fine yarn was finally born at this time
Silk cashmere stall of ultra-fine thread representing muto
"I saw the reaction of the people of the first-class maison and felt,'This is interesting, there is a possibility!'"
Sensitively grasp the trends of the times and take action boldly faster than anyone else.
Mr. Hideyuki's decision was probably due to his own foresight.
The stalls of
muto got on the wave of the times and became popular in a blink of an eye. The one-of-a-kind technology and quality not only attracted domestic fans, but also made their name known overseas.
Under such circumstances, I am fortunate to receive a voice from the "Premiere Vision" held every year in Paris, France, and to decide to exhibit.
Mr. Wataru looks back on what he was doing when he was in the 3 grade of university.
Premiere Vision is the world's best fabric trade fair known to everyone in the industry. Although it was an honor to be able to exhibit here, muto was given the opportunity to exhibit in a special space limited to companies that are making special products in the world.
At that time Seeing the customer's reaction directly on the spot, this is interesting and possible! I felt .
Until then, there was no concrete image of taking over the family business. However, it was well understood that we are making fabrics that we can be proud of in the world. In addition, I was determined by the passion of the first-class maisons who asked me to do something together .
Mr. Wataru says that participation in the exhibition was a big turning point in his life, but at that time, his brother Keisuke, who was in the construction industry at that time, also entered a time of great change. It seems that he was there.
Is it accidental or inevitable? At about the same time, the two men, who had a major turning point in their lives, decided to set their minds for the future, and their brothers began to take this path in earnest.
" It will take at least half a year to complete a single silk stall "
Let's continue the family business and make textiles that will be passed on to the next generation.
They decided to do so, but at first they had almost zero knowledge and experience, and at first they didn't know right or left. Therefore, he thought that he would start by moving the loom, and he started by maintaining the machines that had not been used until then.
A tool called a shuttle loom used when weaving wefts. Normally, weaving can be done while reciprocating from side to side, but if it is not handled well, the special thread will fly in the air and become unusable. At first, I didn't even understand the basics, so I asked a senior craftsman to teach me from scratch.
In this way, the two who first entered from craftsmanship training steadily gained on-site experience despite twists and turns, and acquired solid skills
Here, when I asked a simple question to know the process of weaving a piece of silk cashmere stall,
It will take at least half a year to complete a single silk stall.
I got a surprising answer,
The specific process begins with making ultra-fine, high-quality yarn that is a mixture of silk and cashmere (ordered overseas). Next, in the important process of "double cover", which is indispensable for weaving a unique texture.
After that, "warping" is performed to adjust the length of the woven fabric by aligning the required number of warps, and then weaving using a loom is finally started.
Mr. Wataru says that the most important and careful process is the "double cover" process.
muto's natural extra-fine yarn is the finest, about 1/3 of the hair . Very fine and delicate. Therefore, cannot be woven naked . Therefore, in order to increase the strength of the thread, a double cover is applied.
By the way, it is a daunting task so far, but from this point onward, making a single stall of extra-fine thread is a more laborious task than I imagined. The number of production is limited, and it is said that is , which can only produce about 4 sheets a day.
The process of weaving warps
The "close-up" work that connects the warp that has been woven and the warp that is newly woven one by one
The stalls that are carefully woven one by one in this way are exposed to underground water of Mt. Fuji at the final finishing stage. By passing the woven fabric through soft water with few impurities , gives the fabric its own luster and depth.
The soft texture and gentle expression created by the muto stall was the moment when I felt that not only the delicate weaving technique but also the beautiful and pure water flowing into this area.
Gives luster and depth to textiles with underground water from Mt. Fuji
"5 Speaking of 10 I like the way it is transmitted (laughs)"
A product that has grown significantly as the face of a company, as "Muto is a stall of ultra-fine yarn."
However, Mr. Wataru strongly talks about his thoughts on the future, saying, "I want to continue taking on new challenges without staying in the current situation."
Corona has increased the number of people spending time at home. As a result, I thought that the demand for homes would increase at a stretch in the future, so I started making towels. By using specially processed threads, a towel with high water absorption is completed.
Is it the DNA inherited from your father that you can make a quick decision without resisting the waves of the times and immediately switch to a new business? However, this spirit is muto. It may be the secret of the strength that is the basis of the brand.
He talks about his future outlook, saying that he wants to build a brand that can consistently propose lifestyles by expanding to clothes and accessories, starting with towels.
In addition to this, in the fashion industry, which has many issues such as a large amount of waste and a high environmental load, we are actively participating in initiatives related to SDGs in order to put into practice what we can do. yes.
At the end of the interview, when I asked about what I felt when working with my brothers, I received such wonderful words.
There are various things every day, but for example, when requesting something, 5 is good if there is a place where 10 can be conveyed (laughs) .
Of course, there are not only good times, but also times of collision. However, I think we are able to overcome various aspects because we both have the trust that we are exchanging opinions in order to improve the company.
From the back Muto Wataru Ryo, Muto Keisuke
The solid bond formed by the relationship of trust and the warm communication of the brothers who communicate with each other through Aun's breathing will surely have a positive effect on the field.
The new story of muto has just begun.
I would like to continue to look forward to the future of the story, which is woven like spinning warp and weft.