Japanese Indigo Factory Tour

I recently joined the Ban Rom Sai Japan team on a visit to a Japanese Indigo dyeing facility in Hanyu, Saitama. This factory belongs to Kojima Senshoku Co., Ltd., a company that has been blending traditional indigo dyeing techniques with the latest technological manufacturing developments for over 140 years.

While they are famous for the Kendo gear, we were visiting the factory to discuss new ways to bring their high quality dyeing techniques to new product areas.

The ink bath

If you’re like me and think that the above ink bath image would make a great mobile device wallpaper, you can download an optimized image by clicking the download button on the right.

Dipping device

The dipper pictured above is a great example of the way they combine traditional ink recipes and dipping techniques with advanced manufacturing to maintain high quality at scale.

Fabric Weaving

After the yarns are dyed, they are passed through a series of traditional machines to create large sheets of fabric.

Things move so fast, these slow-motion videos are needed to show the dance between the craftsman and the machine.
Play with your speakers on for a truly creepy effect made by the squeal of the shuttle.
My favorite thing to watch in this video is the wooden shuttle getting launched back and forth.

Wrapping it all up

It was a great experience, seeing the entire prepping, dyeing, and weaving process. Especially in a time where things just show up after a click, it was great to see the human touch throughout the process, and the differences in quality and feeling this touch creates.

For more info about the factory and to arrange a visit to the factory, check their website (English and Japanese) versions available.