”Nihon Home Spun Co., Ltd” Warmth of hand spinning and hand weaving

”Nihon Home Spun Co., Ltd”
Warmth of hand spinning and hand weaving

What is homespun?

We visited a company called Japan Home Spun. Are you familiar with what ”homespun” is?
Homespun is a hand woven tapestry using mainly thick thread that is hand spun. It was originally started in England and came to Japan during the Meiji Era. It was established as a side job for the farmers due to the necessity of military supplies.
Nihon Home Spun was established in 1955 using the traditional technique. They create products that fit the modern day needs, while inheriting the traditional technique. Their basic material is wool. They stock various types of wool since the characteristics are different depending on the origin. They are also challenging weaving silk, cotton and acrylics into their products. Dyeing the fleece before they are spun into yarn is another thing they are doing. The yarn is then woven using looms. Each step is done by hand by the craftsmen.

The feel of hand weaving

Handwoven textiles are bumpy. Colors and patterns are also irregular. That is what brings out the character of the item. However, because only limited quantities can be produced in a day, pricing is very difficult. For this reason, Kuniko Kikuchi who guided us explained that they now incorporate machine production, but they try to reproduce the hand woven texture in their products. That is done by not letting the machine do the work mechanically, but by intentionally slowing down the loom as well as using other tricks to achieve the warmth of hand woven goods, the biggest feature of their products.
The products that are made this way range from tweed fabrics to knit shawls. All of the processes are done by adjusting the balance of the threads, and very complicated weaving.

Changing of the generations as young people inherit tradition

What surprised us after visiting the factory is the amount of samples. They create samples for exhibitions almost every day. Out of hundreds of countless fabric samples, only about 40 to 50 patterns are chosen for production.
At Nihon Home Spun, they wholesale mainly to apparel manufacturers. They get their orders from the manufacturers in Japan and abroad for their wide selection of designs and for their hand woven feeling.
After viewing the factory, Nakata expressed his impression. ”When I think about weaving, I think about old ladies weaving slowly. But there are a lot of young people here.”
”Yes, we have a lot of young people here. And when we are busy, the old ladies who used to work also come in to help. I think we have linked very well with the local community, and have shifted from the older to younger generation very well.”
The horizontal network that is rooted in the local community. And the vertical network to get assistance from the older generation when they are busy. It certainly is a place where warp and weft thread are woven into a piece of culture.


Nihon Home Spun Co., Ltd
1 Ku 67, Towacho Tsuchizawa, Hanamaki, Iwate Prefecture
URL http://www.homespun.co.jp/