-History of Ise Cotton
Ise Cotton Manufacturer in Ise, Mie Prefecture, USUI FABRIC COMPANY
From the Muromachi era in the 14th century to post WWII, Ise cotton was
the most popular textile of choice in people’s lives and highly-praised for its
quality; however, due to the development of chemical fibers and transition
from Kimono to western clothing after war, the demand for Ise cotton
decreased drastically. Now, only one Ise cotton manufacturer remains in
Japan, thus Ise cotton is incredibly precious and hard to get a hold of.
The loom used for Ise cotton have been passed down from generation to generation along with the traditional weaving method. The cotton fabric born from the old loom is light yet warm and resistant to wrinkles.
While regular cotton gets harder the more you wash it, washing adds luster.
-Ise ‘Momen’ Cotton
The thread is lightly twisted, hardened with natural starch, and woven slowly with the traditional loom. Twenty sewers work diligently, but only one roll (about 40 feet) can be made each day. As you wash the thread, the natural starch comes off and the thread tries to return to its original cotton form. Thus the texture gets softer and softer from the expansion of the natural cotton.
That is the beauty of Ise cotton.