SOU Yarn weaves air
KIOKU web magazine
A single towel contains a lot of air.
It is said that the air woven in with the yarn
accounts for half of a towel’s weight.
Air is mixed in, woven in, entwined with the yarn.
It is like a transparent mass
of many many layers.
The wind, the light, the water of a land.
The thoughts and the wishes of its people.
The accumulation of time—memories.
As if building up a gradation, albeit transparent,
all this air accumulates.
The air of the land—its spirit of place—comes into being.
Entwined with the yarn, it is woven in, mixed in,
and a towel is produced.
SOU, a small textile brand
based on the island of Shikoku, Japan
takes its name from this idea of a layer—sou, in Japanese.
SOU is honored to bring you a layer of the spirit of place
born from the landscapes and culture that is this land.
Tosa Washi / Yusuhara, Kochi
Washi production / Rogier Uitenboogaart
Rogier Uitenboogaart finishes a beautiful craft paper as if clear water. He had decided to move to Japan from the Netherlands because of encounter a piece of Washi, Japanese traditional craft paper, 40 years ago. Since that, he used to visit some craftsmen of Washi in all of Japan, and he acquired making Washi with his well-honed genuine sensitivity. According to an advice “If you want to create Washi, you should design from materials,” which a Washi craftsman in Shimane gave it to him, he finally encountered to Kochi where is the production area of the raw resource of Washi.Rogier Uitenboogaart is responsible for the whole of the process, such as growing the raw materials, harvesting, base processing, and paper making of Washi.The peculiar texture and the cozy luster are a primary feature of Tosa-washi, and it figures the land itself of Yusuhara in Tosa.
Iyo Mizuhiki / Shikokuchuo, Ehime
Mizuhiki production / Ando Yuinouten
Mizuhiki is the symbol of a gift in Japan. The origins of this paper cord lie in the 7th century, when Onono Imoko, an official envoy to the Sui court, returned from China by ship, bringing back gifts bearing red and white hemp cord, knotted so as to symbolize prayers for a safe journey. To create mizuhiki, washi paper is twisted up, much as one twists a piece of thread, to create a long paper cord. The cord is finished with glue and allowed to dry before being colored in shades such as crimson. As if spinning memories, mizuhiki are still produced in this part of Japan, despite its transition from washi production to large-scale commercial paper production. This culture of the mizuhiki knot has been passed down to this day in the traditional handicraft of Iyo mizuhiki. The mizuhiki manufactures by traditional craftsmen themselves at the store of Ando Yuino. Mizuhiki has been assuming a vital role, for the most significant events in our life, such as marriage. Tying the mizuhiki knot, we form deep bonds, person to person, heart to heart. These beautiful forms come into being thanks to the skills of mizuhiki craftsmen. Ume-knot, Takara-knot, Omiki-knot, Awabi-knot - There are over 500 types of Mizuhiki knots and deep meaning for each behind them, such as appreciation or prayer. Doing so makes us think about the passage of time and all the human activity that is embodied in a strand of mizuhiki.
Cotton Towel / Imabari, Ehime
Weaving / Masaoka Towel Co., Ltd.
Imabari has always been encouraging the technology innovation while taking Europe weaving technology positively since the era of Meiji, and their craftsman passion also weaves into the Imabari’s weaving finish. Masaoka Towel where has led as a traditional towel manufacturing for 100 years in Imabari, the mecca of the towel, takes good care of a spirit “Always producing the genuine” as a craftsman has been passing to generations in their heart. In the background that is manufacturing a lot of values of the highest-class towel for the first-class domestic hotel, they thoroughly commit not only careful weaving techniques but also design yarn itself uniquely. Yarn weaves air. Also, weaving up ultrafine yarn rhythmically. It has a delicate and beautiful textile of the expression. Because of the Italian weaving machines that keep using importantly at the factory with a long history, it can generate the fantastic secret of the weaving. They invest their whole spirit into a yarn one by one.
Finishing / Kawakamikogeisho Inc. (Saijo, Ehime)
This clean water is essential so that the towel finish has softened and superior. Our towel made in Imabari, Ehime, provides you feel a unique "texture." This towel is no exaggeration to say that symbolizes water itself. It extracts the best value of the texture and the property of the cotton has by washing with a native enzyme, pure soap, or clean water. By coating each yarn with oils one by one, it prevents the damage of it due to worn out, and this unique manufacture process provides softened and durable lasting as much as possible. Kawakami-Kougeisyo, where is a craft institute at Sai-jo in Ehime and specialized in yarn-dyed and wash-processing, devises it. To stand out the advantage of the delicate texture, it fulfills without the damages for yarn and water. More than anything, it is gentle on human skin. It ensures that be excellent in tight-fitting on your skin, and it makes you feel like touching the water. The towel is luxuriously treated with the highest finishing one by one.