Miyazaki towel inc.

History of Miyazaki Towel inc.

Miyazaki towel Inc. is a towel maker, one of the oldest Imabari Towel makers, established in 1894 by Gisaburo Miyazaki at Imabari city, Ehime prefecture a one of Shikoku island where is the smallest and least populous of the four main island of Japan 900km far west from Tokyo.  The founder Gisaburo Miyazaki (宮崎 儀三郎) is a childhood friend of Shichisaburo Yano (矢野 七三郎) who brought flannelette into Imabari. So Gisaburo helped his activity that prosper flannelette industry in Imabari and they gave a life to Imabari towel industry. After World War Two, current manager’s grandfather went into full-scale towel production. In 1980’s they started incorporate Cuprammonium Rayoninto towel making faster than other towel maker, made indigo dyeing towel and made organic cotton towel for the first time in Japan. In 1990’s, they used to make towels for famous designers brand as OEM, however, they shifted to make original products. Current manager’s father was inspired by a story when the towel import to Japan. At that time, towel was a luxury item so Japanese people use as a scarf because that imported towel was thicker and softer than "Tenugui (Japanese Towel)". So Yohei’s father produced a scarf made by towel material with three years market research to 40’s to 60’s Japanese ladies. It became a hit but he did not hold a monopoly, he shared the idea to other towel makers for development of Imabari towel industry. Now Yohei current manager is challenging to maintain a distinctive character and making a difference from others as a pioneer of towel scarf maker.

So they start to use Superior Pima organic cotton (from South America, manufactured by Mukoujima spinnin mill) to make the scarf and rename to “Imabari Muffler” for let it be known that Imabari city is famous for making towels. Today Miyazaki Towel continues founder’s passion and tradition; they only use natural materials to make towels and not going to be a mass production industry. 2007 Miyazaki Towel made a switch to 100% Green Power with Biomass. 2010 Miyazaki Towel acceded to "One Percent for the Planet"

Miyazaki Towel inc. (http://www.miyazaki-towel.co.jp/index.html)

Towel Industry Imabari

Imabari city is located in the north of Ehime prefecture on Shikoku (one of the four main islands of Japan located south of Honshu and east of the island of Kyushu) and famous city for leading producer of towel in Japan. This city holds a share of more than 60% of domestic towel production. Imabari city has been producing for over 110 years. Imabari city is bustling port town from time immemorial, the first city of opened port in Shikoku island, introduced Christian religion at Meiji period and famous for trading port. Imabari city has a wonderful environmet, mild and moist climate from Edo period so this area was able to produce splendid cotton and they enjoyed groth and development through trade with this cotton. So Imabari city is used to be a production area for cotton and sell it to Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe then became famous as Iyo cotton (Iyo was an old province of Japan in the area that is today Ehime prefecture) until the Meiji Restoration (1868-) has begun. After the restoration, Imabari city suffered from poor business brought by the rise of import cotton.

However, in 1887 Shichisaburo Yano brought back Imabari textile industry activities by introducing flannelette to Imabari city. Moreover, in 1910 Heisuke Abe who was a manufacturer of flannelette in Imabari city saw massive potential in making towels in Imabari. Afterwards Imabari towel industry increased productivity by designed a new loom and promote with famous Japanese creative director Kashiwa Sato then they gradually built a strong brand “Imabari Towel Japan”.

 

The characteristic of Imabari Towel is “absorbency”. They tested by sedimentation method, floated 1 cm square of brand-new towel fabric on a beaker that contains one litter of water then if the piece of towel sinks in 5 seconds, the towel pass the test. Therefore, normally it is best to wash your new towels before first use because manufactures often coat new towels in a special softener however Imabari towels are not coated a special softener but fluffy, soft enough and has a great absorbency.

Also towel maker use plenty of water for making towels. So the quality of water is also important. And Imabari area is basking in clean, clear, very little heavy-metal content and soft water, source from Soujya River and groundwater from Mount Ishizuchi that knows as one of the 100 famous mountains in Japan and one of Seven Holy Mountains.

 
Imabari Mufller 70 original colours

Imabari Muffler 70 original

¥JPY1,200
 
 
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