Back arrowcraft

Orimono in Makinohara | Shizuoka, Japan | October 2019

Always searching for new and unique textiles, one of the challenges as an American company producing in California is almost all woven fabrics have to be imported as the domestic textile industry has been decimated in the past 30 years.

Without a national textile identity I’m like a nomad pushed to seek out the best from around the world - Irish tweed, British wool, Belgian linen, German moleskin and corduroy, and a wide variety of cloths from Japan. Most of the mills have a specialty that they focus on and have been doing so for decades; some for multiple generations. The mills range in size, from smaller scale family businesses to 150 year old institutions - each bringing a different perspective and know-how to the making of cloth.

Japan has maintained a strong and diverse textile industry, currently producing some of the best cloth around. These photographs come from a visit to a third generation family run mill in Shizuoka. Started by the grandfather in the 1950’s and continued on by father, mother, son and wife today - the family lives next door and handle everything between the four of them.

They specialize in lighter weight yarn dyed cotton cloths that are at once intricate and detailed yet subtle and timeless. The results of working with them for the first time can be seen in the current editions of the Two Pocket Shirt (ramie crinkle cloth & slub cotton), Big Shirt (black/brown slub cotton & my favorite brown/cream slub cotton), the Elastic Pant & a scarf.