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Bringing the beauty of hand-printed scarves to the present day "Yokohama Tenassen Collection"

Renac Natta's "Yokohama Tenassen Collection" is a collection of silk scarves produced in Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture.

A major feature is the use of a technique called “hand printing,” in which colors are layered onto the fabric one by one. Despite the world's highest quality technology, there are not many factories left in Japan that are capable of hand-printing.

In the future, don't be "no longer made". renacnatta has created original scarves with craftsmen who have inherited traditional techniques.

This time, we will introduce the lineup and charm of the "Yokohama Tenassen Collection", the history of Yokohama scarves, the people involved in them, and our thoughts.

“Yokohama Tenassen Collection” where you can feel the beauty of hand-printed scarves

"Yokohama Tenassen Collection" is a collection of silk scarves made using traditional Yokohama scarf techniques.

The partner is Maruka Co., Ltd. It is a company that inherits the same method from about 90 years ago to the present day and continues to disseminate it as a culture of Yokohama. The delicate and vivid expressions of the scarves in the collection are also produced by traditional techniques by craftsmen.

Above all, there are two major characteristics of Yokohama scarf technology. One is the printing process called "tenasen". And the other is a technique to finish the edge of the scarf called "hand winding".

``Tenasen, Tenasen'' where colors are layered one by one

Te Nassen is a printing method that uses a wooden spatula with rubber to carefully dye each color by hand. The entire surface is dyed evenly, and delicate designs are beautifully sharpened.

The work is done on a slanted table called a “Nassendai”. The length of the stand is about 25m from side to side. “Jibari”, which is the process of attaching the fabric to the textile printing table, is an important process that affects the finish.

If the grain of the fabric is bent even a little, the pattern will be distorted or finely uneven, resulting in a finish that is not ideal. In order to flatten the fabric and apply it accurately, skilled craftsmen are required.

Since hand textile printing prints one color at a time, a new pattern is created for each color. There are a total of 22 colors used in Renacnatta scarves. Therefore, a total of 22 molds are used to finish one scarf.

Also, layering colors on the fabric requires waiting for the previous color to dry, which takes a lot of time.

A trial coating is performed before printing. This is not only to check the finish, but also to remove excess glue from the mold and print evenly.

The craftsman's solid technique is what makes it possible to create a delicate design where even a 1mm deviation can affect the finish. Hand printing, which has been handed down from person to person for many years, is highly regarded around the world.

On YouTube, we have released a video of the manufacturing process so that you can see the process of making a scarf.

"Hand winding" to sew the edge of the scarf stitch by stitch

Another important technique that determines the quality of the scarf is the same as hand printing. "Temaki" is a craft that carefully sews the edges of the scarf stitch by stitch by a craftsman.

By rolling the fabric into a roll with your fingertips and sewing it evenly, the edges of the scarf will be soft and full. The expression of a scarf that hangs softly and supplely when rolled is also brought about by hand-rolling.

Hand-rolling has long been used to finish Yokohama scarves. While the number of craftsmen who work with it is decreasing today, it is one of the traditional techniques that are indispensable for high-quality scarves, just like hand printing.

Fusion of Yokohama and Milan, classical design

Renac Natta's scarves, which incorporate the techniques of Yokohama scarves, are particular about classical designs so that they can be used for a long time.

In the center, there is an ornament with the motif of a photo of the ceiling painting that the representative, Okochi, took in Italy, and in the four corners, a horse-drawn carriage and a rose of Yokohama city flowers that make you feel the history of Yokohama.

The design blends the elements of Okochi's hometown Yokohama and Milan, where he moved to later.

In addition, 22 colors and many colors are used to give the flowers and leaves a three-dimensional effect. It is a difficult task that even skilled craftsmen take care to print many colors without misalignment. This design was made possible only by Maruka, which has continued to preserve traditional techniques.

In addition, the size is finished in a large size of 80 cm x 80 cm. Depending on how you fold and fold it, the pattern you see will change, and it will change the expression in many ways, making it a recommended size for beginners. Wrap it around your neck, or wear it over your shoulder like a bolero.

The “Yokohama Tenassen Collection” is sold irregularly and in limited quantities, and can be purchased online.

The current lineup includes " Yokohama Hand Printed Silk Scarf - Red", which adds a gorgeous contrast between red and green, and " Yokohama Hand Printed Silk Scarf - Red", a new color that will be available on October 31, 2022, with a combination of navy and pastel green. Scarf - Navy" will be released.

Spreading the culture and charm of Yokohama scarves to more people

The scarf-making technique has been handed down in Yokohama for a long time, but there are not many factories left in Japan that are capable of hand-printing. In addition, it is said that the number of craftsmen who handle hand-rolling continues to decrease.

The “Yokohama Tenassen Collection” scarves were created together with craftsmen who have inherited the techniques, along with the desire to protect the tradition of Yokohama scarves.

For those of us who have worked on skirts and accessories, scarves were a new challenge. What gave me the push was the voice of a customer who said, "There is no doubt that you can get something from Renacnatta."

Renachnatta believes that it makes sense to keep going and not let any item end with a single fireworks display .

One of them is the scarf that was born in the 5th year of launching the brand. By telling everyone about this new industry, we feel that we share its fascination. Sometimes, even though we have supported Japanese traditions for a long time, we want people to say, "I'm happy to know" about cultures and industries that may disappear if things go on like this.

I feel that Renakunatta has a role to play in spreading traditional culture to many people through new items that match the times.

A large size scarf with a detailed design is an item that you can enjoy arranging in various ways for everyday use. Like choosing shoes for the day, like wearing accessories. I would be happy if you could experience the charm of scarves in various ways.

From the port town of Yokohama to the world. The history of the Yokohama scarf across the sea

Yokohama scarf is a silk product made with the world's highest standard of technology. Its great appeal lies in the luster and smooth texture that is unique to silk, as well as the ability to express delicate patterns. It is nothing but what has been cultivated in the history of Yokohama.

History of Hand Nassen and Yokohama Scarf

More than 160 years ago, in 1859, when the port of Yokohama was opened, silk became the star of the export industry . In the Meiji period, silk handkerchiefs made with woodblock printing became established as a local industry in Yokohama. It is said that the technique of hand printing as we know it today was brought from America in the early Showa period.

Before long, as the war approached, the printing factories also went out of business one after another. It was after the war that the production of scarves began. It started when a printing company built a barrack in the burnt ruins and started selling hand-printed handkerchiefs that the Occupation Forces soldiers seemed to like. After that, the number of orders for Yokohama scarves, which combined Yokohama's textile printing technology and silk, gradually increased.

The printing technology that has made steady progress has been evaluated to be on par with Como, Italy, which is famous for producing silk fabrics. Even today, the beauty of Yokohama scarves continues to fascinate many people.

Yokohama scarf born with the baton of craftsmanship

Yokohama scarves are produced mainly through seven processes. It is characterized by the fact that many processes are done by craftsmen, from design drawings to making molds and printing.

Templates for textile printing are created for the number of colors based on the design. The dye called iro-nori is measured in millimeters and mixed with the paste in a bowl. Once the fabric has been accurately pasted on the printing table, which stretches from left to right, it is finally time for the dyeing process.

Using a large spatula called a scage, the work of printing the dye poured into the bottom part of the mold from top to bottom is an important scene where the skills and experience of the craftsman can be used. Colors are carefully layered one by one while going back and forth between the textile printing tables that are about 25m long.

After printing, the fabric is temporarily colored. After that, the dye adheres to the thread by applying heat in the steaming process. The final process of hand-rolling is to wash away the unnecessary glue with water and apply it to the finished printed fabric.

The edge of the cut fabric is carefully stitched by a craftsman stitch by stitch to create a single high-quality scarf. The "Yokohama Tenassen Collection" scarf is an item created by the skill baton of craftsmen .

Pursuing the beauty of universal and contemporary scarves

Mr. Yohei Endo, director of Maruka Co.,Ltd. After working in apparel, Mr. Endo rediscovered the beauty of scarves and joined Maruka.

However, when he was involved in the scarf business, it was difficult for people around him to understand its charm.

Before long, Mr. Endo met Natalie Bergeron, the author of a book about scarves, and held workshops, saying, "Let's lower the hurdles to enjoy scarves," and "Let's convey the charm of scarves to many people." It will be held.

“It is our mission to continuously introduce work so that hand-printing and hand-rolling will not disappear.”

Mr. Endo says so. It is said that once the technique of hand-printing and hand-rolling is stopped, it is difficult to revive it again. On the other hand, the current situation is that both craftsmen continue to decrease due to aging and business reduction.

“A truly beautiful scarf is something that customers who look at it from 20 to 30 meters away will see in a straight line.

Mr. Endo pursues the beauty of scarves that are required in the present age. While preserving the traditional techniques that have been passed down since ancient times, we always look to the future and continue to convey the culture and tradition of Yokohama scarves to many people.

Many processes are carefully carried out by craftsmen in the production of Yokohama scarves from the "Yokohama Tenassen Collection". In today's world where convenience and comfort have been prioritized, this item is born from manufacturing based on craftsmanship.

Traditional techniques that have been passed down among craftsmen for many years, as well as the history and culture of Yokohama, are alive and well there. The charm of Yokohama scarves is the beauty created by human hands that captures your heart the moment you meet them.

Depending on how you wrap it, the expression that changes in layers is also interesting. We hope that you will try out various ways to wrap it according to your mood that day, and use it as an item to add color to your day.


Written by: Shiho Nagata
Editing: Eri Yoshida

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