KAIHARA: THE STORY BEHIND THE IDEAL DENIM
KAIHARA: THE STORY BEHIND THE IDEAL DENIM
Mar 12, 2019 LifeWear
Quality denim made possible by integrated manufacturing
UNIQLO proudly presents the ideal form of modern denim, crafted in conjunction with Japan's top denim manufacturer, Kaihara Denim.

This collection of premium denim represents our ongoing effort to produce jeans with higher quality fabric and an improved fit for unrivalled comfort. But just who are Kaihara and what do they do?

About Kaihara Denim



The world-renowned denim manufacturer to this day produces premium fabric thanks to principles inherited through tradition, history and legacy. All this has been retained and improved with help from technological innovations and advancements.

The city of Fukuyama, Hiroshima Prefecture is a crucial part of the Kaihara story. Situated in between the picturesque Chugoku mountain range and the scenic Seto Inland Sea, Fukuyama is blessed with a rich, abundant natural environment renowned for producing a textile known as Bingo-kasuri since the Edo period.

Kaihara's long and storied history began in 1893 with their manufacture of handwoven, indigo-dyed kasuri fabric. Since then, and thanks to their continued innovation in fabric technology, the company has flourished and grown into a world-leading manufacturer of denim, currently holding the largest share of the denim market in Japan. Kaihara is the only company in Japan that performs every step in the manufacturing of denim; from cotton selection to finishing, all in its own factory.

Whether you're looking for retro material designs produced on old-fashion looms or functional fabrics made using advanced technologies, Kaihara continues to explores all the possibilities presented by denim through its embracing and coming together of tradition and innovation.

Spinning



The unrivalled feel of Kaihara denim starts with the spinning of the yarn using state-of-the-art equipment. Kaihara's cutting-edge technologies, unparalleled anywhere in the world, ensure the production of the highest quality yarn in a fully computer-controlled factory. Only the best raw cotton from across the world is selected for use and cotton from different production areas is blended to suit the intended appearance of the fabric.

Yarn is spun using a variety of different methods in order to achieve a wide range of possible results. Depending on the order, yarn may be spun to produce a uniform thickness or may be given an uneven texture for effect. These kind of minor differences and attention to detail in the spinning process result in major differences in the feel and look of the jeans.

Dyeing



The denim is dyed by experienced artisans using a prized formula. Kaihara was the first company to develop and introduce the rope-dyeing machine in Japan. This machine produces dyed yarn with a white core which causes the distinctive fading typically characterising denim. As the name of the machine suggests, yarn is bundled into ropes and then is repeatedly soaked in indigo dye, removed and left to oxidise in air.

However, the dye is unstable by nature and any changes in temperature and humidity will affect the finished product. Therefore, to achieve a uniformly deep blue colour, minute adjustments must be made to the concentration and temperature of dye liquor, to the speed of dyeing cycles and to oxidation time. No matter how far technology advances, the experience and intuition of the artisan remain everything.

Weaving



At Kaihara, a variety of looms are constantly in motion: from the latest computer-controlled models to rare, old-fashioned shuttle looms. Kaihara's modern machines are capable of weaving beautiful and smooth fabrics, while the shuttle looms that were originally used to produce selvedge denim during the vintage era today create fabric full of textured, retro charm. Despite their character, old looms can be inefficient, fragile and their operational complexity requires a skilled artisan to produce goods of truly high quality. To ensure consistent performance, the machine's expert operator must make delicate adjustments and repairs every single day, as though in constant conversation with the loom.

Kaihara Denim at UNIQLO


Explore some of favourite pairs of jeans made with the brilliance of Kaihara denim and experience the cutting-edge denim revolution yourself.



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Learn more about Kaihara denim here
Shop the entire UNIQLO range of jeans for women and men