How Nishijin-Ori is made
Nishijin-ori is a yarn-dyed pattern woven fabric where colored yarns are woven into patterns. It goes through various processes before completion, which differ slightly depending on the fabric types and patterns. How is the pattern used for Wa-Denim completed? Here, we will briefly explain part of the fabric weaving process adopted for Wa-Denim.
Process #1 Zuan (Design painting)
Process of developing the design.
We create a design that will add a new feel to our jeans while taking advantage of the traditional attractions of Nishijin-ori.
Process #2 Monzu (Mon/pattern design template making)
Monzu is the process of creating a blueprint of a woven textile, where every grid on a sheet is carefully painted in a color in accordance with the design based on which dyed yarns are woven. This requires significant amount of work. Nowadays, it is sometimes performed using computer graphics.
Process #3 Nenshi (Yarn twisting), Itosome (Yarn dyeing) and Itokuri (Spooling)
During this process, several thin yarns are combined into one to achieve a desired thickness, twisted in a special manner, and then dyed according to the design color. Lastly, dyed yarns, kept in skeins after the dyeing process, are wound on a spool for easy handling in the later weaving process.
Process #4 Seikei (Warping) and Soko (Heddle handling)
Textile is made by weaving weft yarns across warp yarns. Warping is a step to prepare warp yarns in the required number and length for weaving. To create a shuttle path through which weft yarns pass, warp yarns are pulled up by heddles, parts of loom called “Soko”, based on the instructions from the Jacquard loom. The same number of heddles are required as that of the warp yarns, meaning that the Nishijin-ori textile we use for Wa-Denim requires as many as 2400 heddles to match the required 2400 warp yarns.
Process #5 Seishoku (Weaving)
As you can imagine, weaving is the actual weaving process. Nishijin-ori used to be mainly woven by hand using a handloom or fingernail loom. Nowadays, however, an efficient Jacquard loom is commonly used for weaving.
Process #6 Seirikako (Adjustments and Processing)
The finished woven textile is inspected for any defects such as yarn breakages and lint and is modified accordingly.
During this process, we apply a water-repellent finish to the Nishijin-ori we use for Wa-Denim to prevent any color transfer when the denim is washed.
Kanoko Co., Ltd.
The Kimono fabric manufacturer we work with for Wa-Denim:
Founded over 130 years ago, Kanoko Co., Ltd. manufacture and sell Obis (Kimono belts), Kimonos and Kimono accessories. With the motto of beautifying women, they are a full lineup manufacturer of pure Nishijin products who perform almost all their production processes in the Nishijin district, which is rare in the current Nishijin-ori industry. In recent years, they have expanded into developing and manufacturing fabrics for interior fashion in addition to Kimonos and Obis.
1990: Exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
1992: Concluded a contract with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art for a design created based on Japanese Kosode.
2008: Selected as a gift to leaders of the participating countries at the G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit.
2014: Selected as a gift for Truong Tan Sang, the then President of Vietnam.
2020: Created cushions dedicated for BMW 8 Series Grand Coupe KYOTO EDITION.