Durable and thick fabric to support your body
In order to maintain the strength necessary to comfortably support body weight when seated, the seat is made using twill weaving technique, the same as used in denim. To recreate the Nii’s idea of “softness as if it was washed once”, the fabric’s surface undergoes a process where it is scratched to make it fluffier. Usually, the dyeing and water-repellent finishing are done at the same time after weaving, but our process is different: after dyeing, the fabric first undergoes the fluffing process, and then a water-repellent finishing is applied.
Takeshi Nii, being a third-generation owner of a company manufacturing kendo equipment, developed this unique seat fabric with inspiration from kendo uniforms and equipment bags. It is said he soaked the fabric in water and checked the tension with his feet. Currently, production is divided between two factories: one in Kurashiki, Okayama prefecture, and another in Takashima, Shiga prefecture. The weaving, processing, and dyeing are supported by a technological insight of multiple workshops to manufacture the final fabric.
In comparison to plain weave, which uses one warp per one weft thread crossed at right angles, in twill weave, a single warp thread crosses multiple weft threads. Using this method, yarn can be woven into dense, thick fabric that has a soft to touch and fluffy texture, excellent elasticity, and does not wrinkle easily.
Manufacturing patterned fabric for Shikiri series
The fabrics used in the Nychair X series and Nychair X 80 are dyed after weaving, but it is different for the distinctive pattern fabrics used in Shikiri, where the yarn is dyed first and the pattern is made using colored yarns. The thickness of the stripes in patterns is carefully adjusted thread by thread, remaining faithful to the original designs made by Rika Kawato. All three Shikiri colors use one thread in a common color, so when the different Shikiri chairs are placed together, they feel well coordinated.
To improve work speed and reinforce fabric areas stressed when seating, we are using a sewing technique called double stitching, also used in sewing jeans. The first generation of Nychair X used single-needle sewing machines, and both stitches were made separately; now we are able to make both stitches at the same time, which is more cost-effective and has allowed us to increase the production volume.
Thanks to reinforced stitches in the seat’s back, it was possible to minimize the friction caused by pipes when opening and closing the chair, which led to an improvement in durability.
Since the fabric is sewn with up to seven folds, the strain on the needle and thread is heavy, so the process can be easily distorted. Even a small change can lead to sewing defects, so the machinery is backed by the exquisite handwork of experienced craftsmen.