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Top Voices of Companies Kawai dyeing Works Co., Ltd. (Sumida City)

Kawai dyeing Works Co., Ltd. (Sumida City)

Business Category : Processing(other)
Created on 2016-3-3
Updated on 2016-3-3
Kawai dyeing Works Co., Ltd. (Sumida City)

Dyeing for many leading brands including ISSEY MIYAKE

In 1950, my father built a factory at the current location, primarily dyeing wool and underwear. We believe our feature is having developed dyeing technologies and applied them to meet with the needs of the times. We are recently working on dyeing the most contemporary apparel brand products such as ISSEY MIYAKE’s. For example, ISSEY MIYAKE’s innovative concept “A-POC INSIDE” demands extremely difficult technologies for knit fabrics. Dyeing fabrics woven with more than single material with an identical color was almost impossible because wave lengths of reflection light are different for each material. Nonetheless, we were finally able to satisfy ISSEY MIYAKE’s requirements by developing unique bio process technologies achieved from trials and errors such as changing the amounts of dyes, temperature, pressure and settings of dyeing duration.

Overcoming crisis by fully exerting our own technical capabilities

That said, our businesses have not always been clear sailing. Still, we are proud of taking new challenges and overcoming difficulties each time. In 60’s, a business of dyeing acrylic yarns for exports to the US grew nicely. This caused us to receive an award from then Minister of International Trade and Industry Kiichi Miyazawa as we earned foreign currencies Japan did not have enough at that time. Then the U.S. banned whole apparel imports from Japan in connection with the issue in 1972 of the return of Okinawa. Furthermore in 1973, the shift of currencies to the floating system triggered the yen to appreciate markedly, causing our sales to drop significantly as is the case with the current uptrend of the yen. What shed light on these difficulties was Benetton, the leading knitwear brand in Italy. Orders started to come in 1983 and at the peak we dyed 870,000 sweaters a year with our factory fully operated. In such a situation we needed to study how we should make quality products more efficiently. Our paddle method dying machine is the one I designed. Advantages of this machine are: it automatically pulls out dyed products, reduces the time of raising water temperature for dying, saves the amount of water used and is designed also for shorter draining time.

※ Photo: Paddle dyeing machine designed by President

Challenging dyeing technologies for new applications

Large orders from Benetton finally stopped in 1993. This was because it relocated their production base to China from high-wage Japan. Our having overcome this second crisis was thanks to aforementioned orders from ISSEY MIYAKE we were able to satisfy. Based on these experiences, we are now vigorously challenging new dying technologies for new applications. Last year, we produced bamboo charcoal-dyed polo shirts and plant-dyed cut sew (knit T-shirt dyed with plant pigments). One of the key factors we can satisfy requests from leading designers and challenge new technologies should be our locating in the convenient Tokyo metropolitan area. It is easy for busy designers to come to our factory for checking state of dyeing and again visit us to confirm alterations. Furthermore, for those like us tied to fashion-driven industry apparels, Tokyo is very beneficial in enabling us to obtain most up-to-date information. Sustained efforts sometimes happen to attract somebody we can never think of. In fact, we are picked up in “Modern Politics and Economics,” a high-school textbook issued by publisher Shimizu Shoin, as “Jump Up SMEs.”
Photo left: Bamboo charcoal-dyed Polo shirt and plant-dyed cut sew
Photo right: Kawai dyeing factory introduced in the textbook
Kawai dyeing Works Co., Ltd.
Address: 4-24-8, Mukoujima, Sumida-ku, Tokyo