All About Japan

How Japanese Textiles Enable Global Fashions

Handicrafts Fashion

With the backdrop of Japan’s traditional kimono culture, a rich textile industry developed around the country. What is behind the appeal of Japanese textiles, and where does that attraction come from? Highlighting Japan sat down with Nobuyuki Ota, the CEO of the Cool Japan Fund and an expert on fashions both domestic and overseas, having been the president of Issey Miyake and managing director at Tokyo-based department store Matsuya, to find out.

How are Japanese textiles viewed globally?

Japanese textiles are highly regarded in European and American high-end fashion business circles. Luxury fashion houses all use Japanese cloths, and they say they couldn’t make their pieces without them. Moreover, with regard to the high-function, quality synthetic fibers created using high technology, Japan’s expertise in this field is first-class globally, receiving exceptional critical acclaim.

At the core of this image of reputable, high-quality Japanese textiles is a unique culture of artisanship. Japan’s textile industry, craftspeople and engineers are custodians of a rich variety of cloths with roots in Japan’s distinctive climate, which is characterized by extremely hot, humid summers and winters that get relatively cold. To cope with these conditions and provide comfort, they created a diverse range of materials ranging from traditional textiles to synthetic fabrics, and continue to produce revolutionary technologies.

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