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Bringing the beautiful tradition of Yokohama's hand-printed scarf closer to you. Yokohama Tenassen Collection [Creator Interview]

On October 31, 2022, a new scarf will be added to renacnatta's Yokohama Tenassen Collection. "Yokohama Hand Printed Silk Scarf - Navy", which is a new color of "Yokohama Hand Printed Silk Scarf - Red" that started in 2021, has become a scarf with a different expression from the first work.

This scarf is a "Yokohama scarf" made by traditional handwork in Yokohama. Following the first scarf, we are teaming up with Maruka Co., Ltd.

Once known as a trading port for exporting raw silk to the world, Yokohama has inherited the skills of producing world-renowned high-quality scarves. For more than 70 years, Maruka has continued to make Yokohama scarves as a local specialty, while conveying everyday life with scarves as part of Yokohama's culture .

The "Yokohama Tenassen Collection" was realized with the technology and charm of Yokohama scarves. In order for people who have never used a scarf to use it on a daily basis, Mr. Yohei Endo, the director of Maruka Co., Ltd., and Renac Natta held many discussions to create an item that can expand the range of fashion with just one scarf.

While asking Mr. Endo about the beauty of the Yokohama scarf, we will tell you why Renacnatta wanted to make a scarf now.

The beauty of the scarf was the decisive factor in entering the family business.

A port town where the sea breeze blows through the streets that make you feel like you are in a foreign country. It was in 1859 that Yokohama Port, one of the leading ports in Japan, was opened.

Among the items exported to the world from the port of Yokohama, which has just opened, raw silk has long occupied the number one export volume. Raw silk began to gather in Yokohama from all over the country, and it is said that the production of silk fabrics and scarves with brightly colored prints spread. This is the origin of the “Yokohama Scarf” that continues to this day.

Maruka Co., Ltd., which deals with neck items such as scarves and stoles, was established in 1952 near Yokohama Port. The founder is Mr. Endo's grandfather.

Yohei Endo, Director of Maruka Co., Ltd., which was founded by his grandfather

For Mr. Endo, many of his relatives were involved in making scarves, but the reason he got a job at an apparel manufacturer as a new graduate was because he liked fashion. I never thought of entering the family business.

After that, I retired from the manufacturer where I worked for 4 years and joined Maruka. The reason for Mr. Endo, who was thinking about his future and his family business, was the charm of the scarf itself.

"After all, the scarf is beautiful. I think that's all there is to it."

The beauty of the scarf was the decisive factor for Mr. Endo to enter the family business. It is the technology that has been passed down from generation to generation in Yokohama that makes up its beauty.

The production of a scarf is divided into seven major processes, from pattern design to fabric cutting and sewing. As with many cloth products, a division of labor is adopted, and a single scarf is completed by having professionals involved in each process.

Above all, there are two major characteristics of the Yokohama scarf process. One is the printing process called "tenasen". The fabric is pasted on a large table, and each color is placed on one mold.

Another technique used for finishing is "hand winding". After the printing is finished, the edges of the fabric cut into squares are rolled up and sewn evenly. The plump, high-quality roundness is proof of the skill of the craftsman.

Communicating not only the attractiveness of scarves, but also how to use them

How can we convey the beauty of Yokohama scarves? Since joining Maruka, Mr. Endo has faced this question.

“When I was in my twenties when I joined Maruka, when I asked people around me how about a scarf, they would all turn me down.

Even though it's such a good thing, why can't it be conveyed? Mr. Endo started trial and error to convey the charm of Yokohama scarf while feeling frustrated many times.

“I think scarves are something that people find when they search for items they like to decorate their personal belongings with, ‘I really wanted this!’ I'm racking my brains with the ring, and I'm trying to make a beautiful color."

Mr. Endo has been searching for manufacturing that can be delivered to current customers in line with the changing times. While adding, "It's been slowly," he says that he feels a change in the number of people who enjoy scarves since he was bitterly frustrated.

In addition, we have been devising not only products but also ways of communicating. This is because the most frequently asked questions about scarves by Mr. Endo while standing at the store were “difficult” and “I don’t know.”

In fact, anyone can wear a scarf, but I think it's difficult for me. Conversely, if you know even a little how to wrap, the wall will be removed immediately. Endo realized this when he held a scarf wrapping course.

“After the course, the participants asked the instructor, ‘Which scarf would suit me?’ and were about to buy a scarf. It was a scale from my eyes."

Since then, Mr. Endo has focused on both making good products and teaching how to use scarves. Because we believe in the possibilities of scarves.

“No matter how many times I see it, I am still surprised, but the moment a customer who is about 20m away sees the scarf, they run straight up and say, 'Wow, that's beautiful!' I think it's the pride of this job to be able to make and deliver such a scarf."

A large scarf that can be arranged in a wide range of styles for the first time

It was more than 10 years ago that Mr. Endo, who was searching for ways to deliver scarves, met Aika Okouchi, the representative of Renac Natta. Since learning about Maruka, Okochi has been passionate about making things in his hometown of Yokohama, and in 2021 he launched Renac Natta's scarf for the first time.

Nonetheless, working with scarves that many people have never used is a big challenge for Renacnatta. Mr. Endo made various proposals for patterns and designs in order to give form to such a challenge.

Okochi was especially hesitant about "size". At first, I thought that a smaller scarf would be easier to incorporate, so I was going to make an oval scarf.

Large scarves are recommended as a first-time scarf because they can be wrapped in a wider variety of ways and can be used for a wider range of purposes. Also, they last longer if they can be wrapped in a variety of ways. I proposed

In this way, by tagging with Mr. Endo, we have become an item that we can confidently deliver that customers of Renac Natta will surely like it.

The “Yokohama Tenassen Collection” pattern is centered around an ornament based on the motif of the ceiling painting that Okochi shot in Italy, and in the four corners, a Yokohama-like horse-drawn carriage and a rose, the flower of Yokohama, are placed. I finished it in a classical design so that you can use it for a long time.

The first one is sold out and will be delivered in new colors in October 2022. For those who are purchasing scarves for the first time and those who have already purchased their first scarf, we are introducing arrangements that can be used on a daily basis on the official Renac Natta website, so please check it out.

Wearing the craftsmanship of the Yokohama scarf

Renac Natta's "Yokohama Tenassen Collection" features a large number of colors, with a total of 22 colors used. In order to create a three-dimensional effect, multiple colors are used for one motif. As much as the number, the craftsmen pay close attention to hand-printing the colors.

And what is applied to the rim is "hand winding" that requires skilled work. Because the fabric is thicker, hand-rolling is more beautiful than using a sewing machine.

These handicrafts in the form of Renacnatta scarves. However, due to the decrease in production volume, printing factories are being forced out of business one after another. In addition, due to the aging of craftsmen, it has become difficult to pass on hand-rolling.

Mr. Endo considers it his mission to connect those technologies, and is putting effort into manufacturing and selling his own products so that new jobs will be created continuously.

“I believe that both hand printing and hand winding are the result of our desire to create better products.In a world where simplicity and comfort are pursued, analog manufacturing methods remain for scarf making. , Creating beautiful things with human hands.I think that craftsmanship is the most interesting thing about scarves.”

In order to keep the beauty of the scarf alive, we will change the delivery method according to the times. That is the role that Mr. Endo, who entered the family business, found.

In order to continue what has been around for a long time, it is necessary to create new things that match the times. It would be great if I could pass the baton to the next generation so that the Yokohama scarf can continue.”

We hope that everyone can enjoy scarves for a long time, so that the "Yokohama Tenassen Collection", which beautifully wears the culture of Yokohama, will also be a step that leads to the future of Yokohama scarves.


■ Maruka Co., Ltd.
Official site / Instagram

Written by Yuriko Kikuchi
Interview and editing: Eri Yoshida

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