"Determine the knit color of 2019" Alan Knit Production Diary (July)
STORY | 2019/08/10
From today, the production record by writer Rinshi Hashimoto will start. The “NEW VINTAGE” series gives new life to old vintage clothes by applying foil and dyeing. We will record how the pure white aran knit changes and the days of production until it reaches the customer's hand.
It was cloudy that day as well. It is said that it is the first time since the statistics have been collected that the sun has not been visible for such a long time. It feels chilly in short sleeves, but I'm a little surprised at the scenery full of knitwear in July.
“We moved to this atelier in January, but we still haven’t decided where these kids are.”
Standing on a round chair and taking down the knitwear placed on the shelf, Yuki teaches us.
“Every year when knitting starts, I organize the shelves and regularly move these children. I think, ``Oh, this kind of thing might be good for the current atmosphere.'' I want to line up knitwear in October, so I usually start touching knitwear in the summer, around July.In the heat of summer. I usually start making knits and deliver them in the fall.”
There are various knits in the atelier. Sweaters, cardigans, vests. While muttering, "The best may be interesting this year," he spreads out one by one and confirms.
“Some wool knits change their condition, so I sometimes use them thinking, ‘Maybe it’s time to put them out. I wonder if it will come.”
Also, they have different shapes. A pullover that is called a so-called ordinary sweater. Collared ones also come in a variety of shapes, such as round ones with tight necks, V-necks, and "open collars!" ] with a large collar. Cardigans with large collars like this have a bit of an old-fashioned feel to them, but on the other hand, I think it would be nice to wear something like a haori, so I'm thinking of dyeing it as a sample for the time being."
Some of the piled-up knits have been in the atelier for years, while others are purchased and left immediately. What is Yuki's criteria for choosing from among the many types of knitwear?
"If you ask me, how do you choose? It may take the longest time to choose. I've been choosing these children while moving since the beginning of this month, but I still don't get it. No. I don't decide and finish choosing "I'm going to choose today!"
For example, the right side is too relaxed and feels a little unfashionable. Even though it has the same warm atmosphere, the left side has more interesting pocket buttons and a more interesting shape of the collar. Interesting is more individual and has a sense of matching the current mood."
Even though we live in the same era, we all live in different moods. Under such circumstances, people who resonate with Yuki's "current mood" pick up YUKI FUJISAWA. Then, what kind of place does Yuki feel "current mood"?
“I mainly reinvent vintage materials and am not a fashion designer. I think designers who buy their works have similar interests and sensibilities.
So when I open a book, see people walking down the street, turn on the TV, and look at various things in life, there are moments when I think, ``I wonder how everyone is feeling right now. . When I went to Isetan, I was like, 'Oh, there are a lot of people wearing clothes with this kind of texture this year,' and 'Tapioca is popular.
They don't directly link to the production, but I get a sense of what everyone is interested in."
When Yuki finds pills on knitwear, she removes them with a pill remover.
“Before I send it out for dyeing, I take off the pills, and when they come back, there are more pills, so I take them off again.” Many commercially available pill removers are battery-powered, but they run out of batteries in no time, so she prefers cord-operated ones.
"As we talked, I remembered that the inside of the train may be quite important." Yuki-san says while confirming whether the hairballs have been removed.
“My previous studio was in Taito Ward, and I took the Hibiya Line for about an hour to get there. While looking at what kind of clothes people are wearing, how many people are spending their days, and what kind of advertisements are appearing, I wondered, "Wouldn't it be interesting if someone was wearing a knitwear on this train?" I don't think like that, but it's important to have time to think."
After choosing the shape, the next step is the color. Many of the knits in the atelier are Aran knits woven with creamy white yarn. Knit, which is characterized by its whiteness, is dyed with dyes.
“This knit was not made with the assumption that it would be dyed later. If you wanted a red knit, you would buy red yarn from the beginning and knit it. Depending on the type of wool used, the dyeing process also differs depending on the thickness of the thread and the spinning method.
So, even if you try to dye it while thinking, ``It's going to turn out like this,'' it may end up being more dyed than you thought, or it may not dye at all. Wool of the same brand or similar texture is often dyed in the same color even if someone else knits it, so I leave a piece of knitted fabric that I have dyed in the past as a sample like this.”
The dyeing work is not done in the atelier, but is sent to the factory to be dyed. First of all, we will have a "sample" dyed at the factory in July, and then we will have "mass production" done. However, the knitwear handled by YUKI FUJISAWA is vintage, and each item is one-of-a-kind. What exactly do you mean by "sample"?
“Yes, in my case, each piece of knitwear I handle is different, so even if I dye it, there will always be blurring,” says Yuki.
“But in the first place, it is necessary to check whether the knit can withstand the dyeing method. There are inevitably individual differences in vintage items, so there are many failures. It may be torn and tattered.
What saddened me was that when I put foil on a knit that was dyed in a dark color, the foil completely deteriorated and fell apart. If the compatibility between the dye and the foil is poor, a chemical change will occur. That's something you can't know until you print one by one, so that's why you need a "sample" in the form of a test print, and if you can clear it, other "vintage" will be dyed and mass production will begin. It is."
What color will you dye this year? Not only scraps of past dyed samples, but also color chips are spread out on the table, and Yuki is racking her brains.
``I started working on knitwear in 2011, and at first I only made 2 or 3 pieces. I felt like I had made enough, so I didn't do knitwear last year. Then—I thought I had already finished making all the colors I wanted to make.”
It is said that Yuki made a new attempt in handling knitwear again this year. Using Instagram, we took a questionnaire asking, "What color do you like this year?" Many of the answers were colors that we had worked on in the past, such as pink, light blue, off-white and green. However, the most popular answer was purple, which I had never dealt with before.
“There are a few colors that I have liked and used so far, but purple was something I hadn’t thought about and felt fresh. But now I want to hear the voices of the people who wear it, so I decided to add a color that everyone would like to wear.
In March of this year, we held a workshop called "'1000 Memories of' Memory Workshop," in which participants were asked to bring photographs and letters as the most important "memories" and copy them onto foil. It was held. At that time, please tell us about your memories related to those photos and letters. After that workshop, I wondered if I was in a mode where I wanted to hear more from everyone, or maybe I changed my mind about how to make things, and that led me to hold that workshop... That's why I have a strong desire to get close to them now, so this year I decided to take a survey of customers."
I decided to dye one thing purple, but there is a wide range of purple colors.
“Even though I wanted to use a gentle purple like violets and wisteria flowers, if it was too soft, it would be too cute, and if it was too dark, it would be a strong color. Being wearable is one of YUKI FUJISAWA's themes, so I want to overcome that." Yuki continued to get lost while flipping the color chips over and over again.
A week after visiting the atelier, I received an email. An image was attached along with the words, "Color, finally decided!" There was a slightly darker bluish purple and a darker navy.
words by Rinshi Hashimoto