Alan Knit Production Diary December/Knit Repair
STORY | 2019/12/29
Every time I hear "winter-type air pressure arrangement", I feel nostalgic. On that day, the words "winter atmospheric pressure distribution" came from the TV, and it was reported that there would be heavy snow on the Sea of Japan side. One day in December when winter finally arrived, Yuki was about to start repairing his knitwear.
YUKI FUJISAWA accepts requests for repairs. There is a "Repair" item on the website, and requests can be made using the application form. As winter approaches, requests for repairs increase.
“The reason I started doing alterations was because of a request from a customer. At first, I was contacted through a store that wholesaled knitwear. The year is 2015. Things that have a shape will eventually break, but foil is a material that will inevitably change over time, so I started repairing foil.”
Yuki left a photo of the "sweater in memory" that she has made so far. Upon receiving a request, we ask the customer to send us the date of purchase and the current photo, compare it with the condition at the time of sale, and start repairing.
“I think that when people say “repair,” they have a strong impression of restoring things to their original condition. I thought it would be happier to have it reborn with a new design.So now I tell you that you can choose the color of foil you like.From there, I'm worried about "What color should I use?" There are some people, but there are also many people who order, 'Leave it to Yuki-san and make it look great.'"
How would Yuki decide on the color of the foil when asked to leave it to me?
“For example, this knit uses a technique called opal dyeing, which is a combination of pink dye and light blue dye. When I made this knit, I didn't have bronze foil yet, but I thought it would go well with the softness of the pink dye, so I suggested, "How about bronze foil?" I've met the owner of this knit, and I think the warmth of the bronze and the freshness of the silver would suit his passionate and kind personality."
2015 knitwear. The photo on the right is after the repair. Bronze foil is added to the wrist, and the neck is also repaired by layering silver.
"Sweater in memory" dealing with vintage materials is something that someone once wore, and it is filled with someone's memory. However, by repeating repairs in this way, new memories pile up in layers. Until I came across Yuki's work, I thought that knitwear only lasts a few years, but if you take good care of it, you can wear it for decades.
“It’s often said that, just like shoes, you should let them rest for a few days after wearing them once. To make your clothes last longer, let them rest and take care of them regularly.Brushing with a horsehair or boar hair clothes brush not only removes dust and pollen, but also prevents pilling. Recently, there are atelier shops, and I have many opportunities to meet people who wear the clothes I make, and sometimes I am surprised how they can wear them so beautifully. I want to talk to the clothes, saying, "I'm glad you're doing it."
The knit that Yuki was wearing that day was hand-knitted from Ireland called "CARBERY", which her father had bought overseas when he was working as an importer, and is said to be over 35 years old. Hand-knitted wool knits can be handed to someone decades later by wearing them with care.
"This knit just arrived, so I'll show you how to fix it." Yuki-san puts on an apron, spreads out the knitwear on the table, checks the condition first, and then carefully applies a pill cleaner.
“If there are pills, when the foil is placed on top of it, it will become hollow and the weave will not be visible. It's a very plain job, but the quality of the finish depends on whether you do it or not."
Take out not only the place where the foil will be placed, but also the pills in other places. After five minutes of carefully removing the pills, it's finally time for the foil stamping process. What Yuki-san brought along with pigments and ink was a screen door-like frame. First, use this to apply the glue that adheres the foil.
“At first, I tried painting with a brush or a roller, but I realized that this method was the most beautiful way to express. There is a process of applying a photosensitive emulsion that reacts to , and the emulsion is put in a large bucket and drawn to a mesh that is set up.This allows it to be applied as a uniform thin film only on the surface. And I came up with this method.”
When the foil glue is taken out on the table, pigments are mixed into it to add color. When I started making "Sweater in Memory", I used the original color of the glue, white, but now I'm mixing pigments. As the foil ages, the underlying layer gradually becomes visible. Instead of seeing it negatively as "the foil has disappeared", I started to add color so that people can enjoy the change.
“Since the T-shirts and tote bags have foil layered on top of the logo, the concept is that the original vintage pattern will appear over time. Vintage items that have patterns themselves can express the fun of aging. But in the case of knitwear, I think it would be sad if foil disappeared. I try to add color to the undercoat.As you wear it and wear it, the vivid colors will appear from under the foil.”
When the pigment is mixed, a thin layer of glue is applied on the mesh. I usually use a density of 60 mesh, but in the case of repairs, I use a finer mesh of 80 mesh so that the texture is not as hard as possible because more foil is layered. Place this on the place to be foil stamped and apply a wooden spatula. By doing this, the paste can be thinly applied only to the surface without soaking into the knit.
After applying glue, bring your face close to the knit to check if it is properly applied. "Yeah, it looks good," said Yuki. Yuki-san, who is in production, is a little more frisky than usual.
After waiting for the glue to set, it's finally time to apply foil stamping. Since it will take a day or two for the glue to dry completely, he says that he will press the pre-printed material today. Place the foil carefully so that it does not shift, and press the button of the automatic heat press. The press slowly descends and the foil is crimped.
When the press machine rises again, foil is stuck to the flat knit. After removing the foil shell and applying a steam iron, the knit regains its bulge and shine.
“I get really nervous when it comes to repairs,” says Yuki. “In the case of products, if something goes wrong, we can arrange it, but the customer’s knitwear is limited to one in the world.
A dusty smell emanates from the press. Nowadays, heating means air conditioning, but I feel like I used to smell like this when I used to hit the stove. As the end of the year approaches, I remember gathering at relatives' houses and playing cards under the kotatsu or by the stove.
2019 is almost over. When I asked Yuki about her resolution for 2019, she replied, "This year's Toyotomi was to 'make things fun', so I think I was able to achieve that." Then, when I asked him what his resolution was for next year, Yuki answered immediately that he wanted to increase the number of his friends.
words by Rinshi Hashimoto
Click here to apply for foil repair from "Order Repair" . In addition to foil, we also accept frayed knit repairs. In addition, we accept foil repairs for all items other than knits. Add a new sparkle and make it even more special for you. Please feel free to apply.