MATERIAL MATTERS

Snuggly Fuzzy

Snuggly Fuzzy

「眠くなるほどゆっくり編むホームスパンツイード」

“ツイード”と聞くと、目の詰まった、そしてゴツゴツした粗野な生地を思い浮かべるかもしれません。しかしNIHON HOMESPUNのツイードはちょっと違います。複雑な見た目からは想像できないほど、ふんわりとしていて暖かく、さらに軽い。それが眠くなるほどゆっくり編まれたNIHON HOMESPUNのツイードです。

Creative Direction by kontakt
Cinematography by Yasuyuki Takagi
Video Editing by Christoffer Rudquist
Audio by Jiro Murata
Photography by Takuya Horiguchi

Snuggly Fuzzy
Snuggly Fuzzy
Snuggly Fuzzy

1955年創業。NIHON HOMESPUNは岩手県の花巻市にあります。HOME(家)、SPUN(紡ぐ)という言葉の意味からも分かるように、本来はイギリスのスコットランドやアイルランドの農家が、放牧する羊の毛を刈り、染め、そして手つむぎをした糸で編んだ生地をアウターやマフラーにして寒い冬を凌いだり、農閑期の副業として生活を支えていました。戦後、同じような産業が岩手県でも、織機一式をスコットランドから輸入したことで定着します。しかしNIHON HOMESPUNは、 “家庭”で作るものでもないですが、生産工場というよりも、まるで作家活動に近いものづくりをしています。固定観念に縛られることなく、羊毛以外にも、シルクやレーヨン、リサイクルポリエステルやオーガニックコットンなどを使用したNIHON HOMESPUNのさまざまな材料を駆使したツイードは、国内外のファッションブランドからも一目を置かれるようになります。ホームスパン本来のハンドメイドならではの“優しさ”を大切に、糸に負担をかけることなくゆっくり編まれていく。そしてできあがった生地はたっぷりと空気を含みふんわりと柔らかく、そして暖かく、着心地も軽やかなのが特徴です。

Snuggly Fuzzy

2022-23AWコレクションでAURALEEは初めてNIHON HOMESPUNのツイード生地を使用しました。デザイナーの岩井はできあがったアウターやパンツ、ワンピースドレスを見て、「こんなに雰囲気があって、ボリュームがあるのにも関わらず、着心地が軽いのがいい。特に冬になると重量感のある服を着る日が多くなると思うので、こうした軽い着心地のものがあれば便利だし、コートを着て出かけるのが億劫な時とかにも、これだと少し気分を変えてくれるかもしれない」と話します。

Snuggly Fuzzy
Snuggly Fuzzy
Snuggly Fuzzy

色はグレーやブラウンの杢糸を中心に編み込んだアースカラー。デザイナー自身も、できあがってくるまでは把握できていないほどたくさんの種類の糸が使われています。しかしその糸たちが平面的な生地に奥行きと立体感を与えます。

Snuggly Fuzzy

「糸が良ければいい生地になる」とはNIHON HOMESPUNの創業者である菊池完之さんが口がすっぱくなるほど言い続けていることです。なので今回できあがった生地も、糸本来が持つ硬さや柔らかさ、そして形状差が生む凹凸感を十分に感じられるAURALEEらしいものになっています。いわゆる受注・発注の関係性ではなく、コラボレーションのように作られたホームスパンツイード。一体どんな人たちがどんな想いで作っているのでしょうか? 岩手県花巻市にあるNIHON HOMESPUNをデザイナーの岩井と訪ねました。

Snuggly Fuzzy

Snuggly Fuzzy

‘Homespun tweed, spun at a speed so slow that it brings drowsiness’

When you hear the word ‘tweed’, one may visualise a rough fabric with a dense and lumpy texture. But tweed from Nihon Homespun is slightly different. From its complex appearance, it is hard to imagine that it is fluffy, warm and also light. This is Nihon Homespun’s tweed, which is spun at a speed so slow that it can make you drowsy.

Creative Direction by kontakt
Cinematography by Yasuyuki Takagi
Video Editing by Christoffer Rudquist
Audio by Jiro Murata
Photography by Takuya Horiguchi

Snuggly Fuzzy
Snuggly Fuzzy
Snuggly Fuzzy

Established in 1955. Nihon Homespun is based in Hanamaki City in Iwate Prefecture. Just as the words ‘home’ and ‘spun’ suggests, it was originally knitted from yarn that was sheared, dyed and hand spun by sheep farmers in Scotland and Ireland, who wore outerwear and scarves made from these fabrics to beat the cold winter months, and also sold them on the side during slack seasons. After the war, a similar industry also established in Iwate Prefecture as a result of imports of complete sets of weaving machines from Scotland. Even though products are not actually ‘made at home’ at Nihon Homespun, they craft things like artisans rather than operating like a production plant. Unbound by stereotypes, Nihon Homespun’s tweed uses a range of different materials other than wool including silk, rayon, recycled polyester and organic cotton, and is highly recognised by both domestic and international fashion brands. While valuing the ‘gentleness’ that is unique to homespun products that are handmade, the yarn is spun slowly without adding pressure to it. The characteristics of the final fabric are soft and fluffy with plenty of air, warm, comfortable and lightweight.

Snuggly Fuzzy

Auralee used tweed from Nihon Homespun for the first time in the 2022-23AW collection. When Iwai, the designer saw the finished outerwear, trousers, and one-piece dresses, he commented, ‘The garments are comfortable to wear even though it is voluminous and has such a great atmosphere to them. Especially since there will be more days where people will wear more weighty clothing during the winter, it is convenient to have something so lightweight and comfortable like this⁠—it might help to change our mood when people cannot be bothered to wear coats when they go out.’

Snuggly Fuzzy
Snuggly Fuzzy
Snuggly Fuzzy

The colour is an earth colour that is weaved mainly by grey and brown heather twisted yarn. Many different types of yarn are used and even the designers themselves cannot fully foresee the end colour until the garment is finished. However, the yarn gives the planar fabric depth and dimension.

Snuggly Fuzzy

‘If the yarn is good the fabric will be good’—this is what Kanji Kikuchi, the founder of Nihon Homespun says repeatedly. That is why the fabric produced this time is also distinctive to Auralee, as one can feel both the firmness and softness of the yarn, as well as the unevenness from the differences in shape. Our relationship with them is not just a so-called client order, but this homespun tweed is made as a result of collaboration. What kind of people are they and what are the thoughts they put into the making process? We visited NIHON HOMESPUN in Hanamaki City, Iwate Prefecture, with designer Iwai.

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