Steadfast efforts by a time-honored manufacturer to ensure the sitting comfort of Nychair X
The seat of Nychair gently and securely supports the body. It captivates many users not only with the sitting comfort, but also with the ease of changing the color or replacing the fabric.
The seat is made with Kurashiki sailcloth manufactured by Marushin Industry in Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture. The time-honored Japanese manufacturer rooted in textile weaving from 1888 is one of the biggest sailcloth producers today. Importantly, it is unique not just because of the long history and high market share.
“Perhaps I am just too curious and cannot resist taking on a difficult challenge”.
That’s how Mr. Takushi Takeyari, the third-generation president, says laughingly. Sailcloth was literally created for sailing, which evolved along a unique path in Japan to date.
The sailcloth factory of Marushin Industry faces the main street with beautiful historical streetscape formed by wooden townhouses with lattice windows and white walls. In old days, merchants would pass east and west on this main road at the food of Mt. Tsurugata that run across the country. It was lined with workshops of coopers, upholsterers, and other artisans.
Tireless evolution of Kurashiki sailcloth
“In the Meiji period, sailcloth was appreciated as a durable material for providing military supplies beginning from uniforms, followed by bags, backpacks, tents, and more. The needs for sailcloth further broadened with the times. It became a popular material for clothing like belts and sneakers, as well as for making sporting goods, such as vaulting boxes, exercise mats, and karate uniforms. For its thermal tolerance and antistatic property, it is also used as a material for escalator handrails and protective gear for smelter operators”.
Such durability and versatility of sailcloth, however, was not enough for making Nychair X. Another major leap was necessary.
In plain weave cloth with a simple crisscross pattern each weft thread crosses the warp threads by going over one, then under the next, and so on. Marushin Industry devised a thicker, fluffier, softer, stretchable, and wrinkle-resistant sailcloth with a dense bundle of weft threads crossing a warp thread at an angle.
Pride of artisans to carry on Takeshi Nii’s spirit with their painstaking mastering of crafts
“The fabric originally used by Mr. Takeshi Nii initially impressed me with the softness and pleasant texture as though it was especially washed beforehand. That’s why we explored a special treatment to provide a skin-friendly surface to a thick fabric strong enough to support the body”.
Mr. Takeyari worked with the site workers to make softer twill woven fabric like denim. The team intentionally brushed the fabric to add pleasant fluffiness.
“Normally, weaving, dying, and water-repelling are performed in a single line to provide both soft feel and resistance to staining. Our factory bothers to take one extra step by outsourcing brushing of our dyed fabric and performing water-repelling process again by ourselves”.
Attentive Japanese manufacturing as a source of national pride
High quality and efficiency are nothing unique to made in Japan. Still, Japan can boast its philosophy of attentive manufacturing to remain considerate of users’ feelings as practiced also by Marushin Industry.
“Our production system remains the same while industrial structures and lifestyles radically change. It may certainly appear naive and out of date, but we can only stick to our way”.
The old-fashioned practice is nevertheless no short of fun development process. Mr. Takeyari looks forward to taking on new challenges. Still today in Kurashiki, dedicated machines at the factory of Marushin Industry keep on producing fabric for Nychair X.