1912. First year of the Taisho era. 110 years from now, a time that can be said to be impossible in one person's time.
Among existing woolen weavers in Japan, it is the one with the longest history, and I also love woolen weavers. Kuzuri Keori Industry Co., Ltd.
I asked Mr. Kuzuri Keori to weave the fabric for this time. Already, it has completed an endlessly overwhelming and transcendental thing. It is a weaving shop with a sign that says domestic highest quality worsted.
One winter day in 2021. I met a certain designer at Nagoya Station. Until now, Nagoya would often pass from Okayama to Tokyo. Now it comes down frequently.
I met up with the designer and drove from Nagoya Station to Mr. Keori Kuzuri.
Nagoya station seems to be very prosperous, but if you drive about 30 minutes from there, you will gradually feel the local atmosphere. i feel good.
Ichinomiya City, Aichi Prefecture. Kuzuri Keori is located here.
The nearest station is Tamanoi Station. This is the terminal station of the train. I was driving, so it's blurry.
here. Kuzuri Keori Industry Co., Ltd. A row of very attractive buildings. This is where Japan's world-class worsted fabrics are made.
It is a building with a very historical feel, and although it is not shown in the photo, the building itself with its sawtooth roofs, built by Keori Kuzuri, is said to be highly regarded historically. It is designated as an important tangible cultural property of Japan.
And the door in the center. This is the entrance of the airport. When I went to Kaneta Orimono in Shizuoka Prefecture, the environment changed at once from the other side of the door, but even at Kuzuri Keori, the humidity and the sound. A big change from the other side of that door.
When you enter the door, you will be greeted by these cute animals. This is prepared so that you can touch and understand what kind of hair quality each animal has.
Mr. Keori Kuzuri regularly visits the general public? It seems that it is open to the public and a factory tour is also being implemented. That's why it seems that you can see the difference between animal fibers as soon as you touch it like this.
It's so cute, soft, solid, and you can immediately understand the characteristics of each hair quality. I want this at home
In addition, blueprints of the fabric are also prepared in this way, making it easy to understand how to create the fabric.
This is the organization chart of the fabric. Like Othello, it is painted in black and white to show how the warp and weft appear on the surface. All fabrics are clearly designed with this organizational chart.
And this. Kuzuri Keori has many such things. Mr. Kuzuri Keori also makes the suit fabrics worn by the emperor and retired emperor. When I went there, there was also fabric weaving at the request of the Japanese government. A weaving shop with such a long history.
And when you go further inside, there is the airport. Mr. Kuzuri Keori has repaired and continues to operate the old loom "Schönherr loom", which is the most analogue and most similar to a handloom in woolen textiles, and is about 90 years old.
The Schönherr loom was developed in Germany, and although some people may only see its name, it was widely used long ago. The origin of the name Schonherl is, as the name suggests, because it was developed by the German company Schonherr. The Schonherr loom that Mr. Kuzuri continues to use is said to be a domestically manufactured Schonherr loom introduced from Germany.
However, nowadays, "high-speed looms" that use jets and water pressure to fly the weft threads are widely used, so the production was discontinued a long time ago, and it is now called the "former masterpiece". The Schonherr loom was lost. This is due to differences in productivity. The fabric is repeated by skipping one weft thread and driving it into the warp threads that are set side by side. Mr. Kuzuri's Schonherr loom is set to drive the weft threads "90 times per minute." at the earliest. If you convert that to one hour of operation, it seems that it is about 1m. The amount of fabric production is "1m per hour". There is also the problem of the "sound" of the loom itself, so it seems that they are operating for 8 to 10 hours a day, so if you think about it in a day, it is "8m to 10m".
So, for example, if I ask you to produce 50m of fabric, it will take 50 hours to weave it. On the other hand, it seems that the high-speed loom moves the weft "1500 times per minute". It is about 15 times larger than the Schonherr loom used by Kuzuri Keori. It takes a completely different amount of time. Most of the fabrics in circulation, not just wool and cotton, are made with high-speed looms, but the "quality" and "texture" of the fabrics are very different. High-speed production increases production volume.
However, if you take the time to weave it, the power of the material will be drawn out. Productivity or fabric quality? However, of course, the "price" will change accordingly. That price has a big impact on the sales price when it becomes clothes, so if that happens, most of them will take productivity. Because it is directly related to the sales of the weaver. Kuzuri Keori continues to use Schonherr looms for the reason that "we can make the most of the quality of the fibers", even though many weavers are striving to reduce costs in line with the times. Mr. Weaver who continues to use.
Kuzuri Keori produces woolen fabrics, most of which are distributed to the suit market. That's why it's rarely used by the fashion brands that we carry on a daily basis. Among the brands that we carry, I think Yamauchi, Araki Yuu, and HERILL are the only brands that use Kuzuri's fabrics in their collections. perhaps. Suits have an incomparably longer history than the "fashion" genre. From its founding until now, Kuzuri Keori has always placed great importance on creating clothing fabrics that can be worn by "three generations of parents and children".
This fact has been recognized by the Japanese government, and it is highly evaluated by tailors both in Japan and overseas as the best worsted fabric in Japan, as well as for the suits of the Emperor.
However, I think that it is not well known in the realm of "fashion" where we exist. Clothes can be broadly divided into "tailor (suit)" and "fashion". think. I believe that the power of such "fashion" is immeasurably great, and I believe that it is possible for people to change their lives for the better. Because I was.
That's why it was very important for me to ask Kuzuri Keori to weave my ideal fabric. Let me introduce you to the inside of Mr. Keori Kuzuri. Mr. Kuzutani of Kuzuri Keori said that the weaving in Schönherr is the same as hand weaving, it is very analog and has a very simple structure. That's what Mr. Ota of Kaneta Textile, who operates a "shuttle loom" who is in the same position in cotton textiles, said. However, although the structure is simple, it is not currently in production, and because it continues to operate, breakdowns occur. It's from 90 years ago.
But there are no new parts. And since it's old, it's hard to adjust if something happens. Therefore, the production efficiency is not high, and it is very labor-intensive. However, I really think that there is something that "moves my heart" in the finished product.
Fabric, like the process of "weaving", takes a surprising amount of time before that. The most time-consuming part of the weaving process is "preparing the warp". This is said to be the process of rewinding twisted and dyed threads from a bundle of threads "to prepare, to prepare" as warp threads.
The thread wound on the yellow cylinder is the number of meters of warp used for one roll of fabric, and is rewound on the green cylinder in the foreground called "meter winding". In the world of textiles at this level, it is difficult for us to imagine that fine adjustments are repeated over and over again.
A place where a large number of warp threads with different colors are lined up. This is called "Seikei".
Threads are unwound from each bundle of threads, which are placed one by one on the warping table.
In this way, the "beam" is aggregated into one. In this process, hundreds of threads are lined up for the required number of warp threads, adjusting the tension according to the material. A bundle of threads placed on the warping table. Isn't this a single thread wound round and round? The maximum number of bundles is several hundred.
However, at Kuzuri Keori, the average number of warp threads is around 6,000, and high-density ones are around 8,000 to 10,000. That's why this beam process is repeated dozens of times.
In this way, we always check with our eyes and senses whether the tension is optimal and even.
Warp wound on beam. The number of knots in the photo is the number of times this process is performed. A huge number of warp threads are all evenly wound. The symmetry of this wound yarn is outstanding. But, at this point, the warp threads are not even set on the loom. And then to the next step...
This is it. Kaneta Orimono called it "hedooshi", but it is also known as "soukodooshi". "Heddle" is for the warp threads set on the loom to move up and down alternately.
The weft thread passes through the "gap between vertical movements" of the warp thread. It is also an important role of the ``heddle'' to shed the vertical movement of the warp so that it conforms to the ``organization chart''. It is the process of threading the warp one by one.
While using the heddle threading rod, pull the thread wound around the beam one by one and thread it through the heddle. The number of warps is the same as the number of warps, that is, as mentioned above, it is a tremendous work that there are more than 10000 warps.
This is a super, super, super analog process that is difficult to mechanize and must be done by hand. At Kaneta Orimono, a woman in her 80s was working, but when I visited, Kuzuri Keori was working with a younger woman. He taught me very kindly and kindly. He was a good person. smile
Then, change the tool as it is, this time "Osadooshi". A reed is a tool that adjusts the width of the fabric and the density of the warp threads, and drives the weft threads that are inserted between the warp threads that move up and down. The warp that has been threaded through the heddle is passed through the reed as it is. In "Hedoshi", the thread is passed through a very small hole, but the gap between the reeds in this "Hedoshi" is extremely fine, from 0.8mm to several millimeters.
It is a process that takes days and days for this "threading and threading". It takes a lot of concentration and a tremendous amount of perseverance to sit in a chair all day and keep doing detailed work.
And I tried this too.
Or rather, I was allowed to do it correctly. Well, it was just a little bit, but doing thousands of threads with one piece of fabric made me realize how hard it was. I've only been through for a while. The fabric is supported by this kind of work. I really felt that.
This is the scenery in front of me when I pass the heddle. A fixed number of warp threads are lined up from the other side and threaded through numerous small holes in the heddles.
Imagine. This is a process that must be done when weaving a new fabric, unless it is of the same standard as the one set on the loom last time.
And finally to the weft preparation process. Up to this point, the preparation process was only for the warp threads, but after the threads arrive at Kuzuri Keori, the process up to this point takes about a week. It takes time to set the warp threads.
The machine above is for winding the weft on the brown tube. I moved it and showed it, but it was being rolled up.
And this shuttle is where the weft thread is wound around the tube. The weft threads are placed in a wooden shuttle, which is struck with a hammer or something similar to pass through the warp threads.
I took a video of it on my phone, so I'll post it on Instagram later.
This is the Schonherr loom. Keori Kuzuri continues to use the one from 90 years ago.
12 Schonherr looms. The loom in the photo is already in motion, but when you start the operation, you start by moving a stick wrapped in light blue and green tape rhythmically and regularly to the left and right. I was able to experience this start-up, but the loom is a big habit. Lol If the timing is a little off, it won't move at all, and there are cases where the shuttle gets caught in the reed.
I used to practice winding stitches with an old sewing machine (Union Special), but each one had a peculiar habit. After all, I felt that it was a bit like that. It's completely different from what we have today.
Each weaving machine is being operated at that time by the craftsmen in the machine shop. At Kuzuri, there were not only elderly people, but also young craftsmen in their 20s and 30s. Everyone is very passionate about making fabrics at Kuzuri Keori.
When I go there, when I have a meeting with Mr. Kuzutani of Kuzuri Keori, I want to know what the people at the select shop are thinking about and what they want to do.
So Mr. Sato and Mr. Uemura were present.
Mr. Kuzuya says it's very analog, but to me, this structure was completely incomprehensible. A complex structure that is super difficult to understand just by looking at it. It was like Howl's Moving Castle, with the parts like the one in the picture moving independently. That feeling when the castle walks. smile
And this white thread is a "woven label". It is unique to woolen fabric. I'm sure some of you have seen it, but there are letters written on the wool fabric. That's right. Was that part a dobby loom, apart from the Schonherr loom? It is woven with the structure of
this. This installed on the shuttle loom. It's designed to weave letters here. You can see the paper with brown holes. In addition, it seems that the design of the characters to be woven is done.
This is the part of the letter.
And here. A corner of the airport. These are the ones who adjust the Schonherr loom and assemble the parts that are absolutely necessary for fabric design. All kinds of tools are lined up.
One of them is like this. This is what you need to drive the weft. The part called a card is a combination of round tops and straw-shaped parts that are connected together. It seems that this will design the movement of the shuttle and determine the pattern and organization.
Such a thing. Seriously, I don't understand the world. smile
Nowadays, both looms and sewing machines are electronically controlled, and the movement can be determined with a single button, but everything is completely different. However, this takes a lot of work and time, but there are fabrics that only Kuzuri Keori can create. This is highly valued in the world of suits, which has a longer history than fashion, and it is also highly valued in Japan. Suits are said to have been around since the 16th century, but the history of Japanese fashion started in the 80s with Yohji Yamamoto and Comme des Garçons.
It's a completely different history.
However, as a "retailer" who puts myself in the world of fashion and conveys it, I want customers who visit our store on a daily basis to know about Kuzuri Keori's fabrics. Teru. There is definitely something that is unique to Kuzuri Keori, and you can feel it through the fabric.
And by wearing it, there are things that can only be experienced with it. That's what I think, but Kuzuri Keori's Kuzutani-san would never openly say something like that.
People often say to me, "We've been making things that haven't changed since long ago." It has been officially 110 years since Keori Kuzuri founded the company. According to the national rule, it is 110 years, but unofficially, it is 150 years? It seems that it will be The fact that we have been able to continue for such a long time is that we have continued to adhere to the fabric standards that have not changed since our founding. He says However, it is amazing that there have been various trends in society from its founding to the present.
During the bubble era, a weaver who ran into the real estate business using a vast amount of land. Due to the wave of mass production, weavers steered the standard of fabric to cheap mass production type. It seems that there were various machine shops.
I think it was a time of social turmoil, not just for weavers, but because Japan is a developed country. Despite this, Keori Kuzuri has continued to cherish the teachings of the company since its founding. I was just doing normal things. says Mr. Kuzuya.
However, isn't it an extremely difficult skill for humans to "continue to do the obvious things"? It's human nature to look elsewhere and end up wanting to go there. So the grass on the other side looks greener.
But that's not the case. Instead, we are a weaver who has been sticking to what we should do, what we can do, and to carefully weave "worsted fabric", which is our main business. It is said that old suits were heavy and very warm to wear. You don't see many suits like that anymore. Reduce costs, improve production efficiency, and reduce waste. This is the era where all these things are said. Of course, I think it is necessary. But if you want to make something really good, that's not all. Mr. Kuzutani says that the most important thing he has always thought about is to put first, "When new materials are available, how can we make the most of them?" It may be a waste of time, but as a weaver, I was told that I would like to continue to explore in order to deliver good things to the world. No matter how much it costs, as a weaver, I am interested in how the material will turn out. That's what they said.
"History sees everything" In the history of more than 100 years, if we try to protect only our immediate interests, it will rather hasten the decline. That's why we continue to create fabrics that will please tailors and brands, and we want to leave it for the next 100 years.
An 87-year-old craftsman who works at Kuzuri Keori says, "There is no goal in work." Even if it continues for decades, new things will always come out every day, and every day will not be the same. I always do my best in the environment, so I can continue and do good things. The fabric that such a historic weaver made this time. Such a historical weaver's "inquisitive spirit" and the accumulation of technology so far have realized the fabric that Mr. Kuzuya said was "extreme". The raw material is very special, with the name of a certain ranch.
Its name. "Ferreira Mohair" This is a fabric woven using the techniques of Kuzuri Keori, which has a history of over 100 years, using raw materials that are said to be "the best quality in the world" and are difficult to weave.
I really think that we have created something very good.
Continue. . .