In the past thirty years, the Nishijin textile market has decreased to one tenth of its size. This company recognized the impending crisis and explored expansion into foreign markets. Amongst its exploration, it set its sights on the interior design market. Until then, the standard width for Nishijin textiles was 32cm, the width of a kimono obi, but this wasn’t even looked at in the interior design market. The company developed the only machine capable of weaving fabric with a width of 150cm that employed Nishijin techniques; as a result, they succeeded in expanding the possibilities of this textile, which had only been used for kimono obi and small articles.
Currently this textile representative of Japan cultivated over some 1,200 years is employed by many luxury overseas brands.
Nishijin textiles are created by artisans involved in twenty separate processes who come together in a town with a range of 7km to produce a single product. The driving force of Hosoo lies in its endeavors to retain the industry as a whole in the Nishijin area and develop it with an eye to the future.
The processes involved in weaving a piece of Nishijin fabric are also unique.
There are twenty processes involved in the creation of the finished product, including the production of raw silk thread and the dyeing of this thread, and highly-skilled artisans carry out these processes. The processes are not all carried out in one factory; artisans are scattered over the 7km that constitute Nishijin township, and the whole town is involved in creating the finished product. It could be said that the friendly competition between these artisans is what continues to protect the high quality of the products created.
To accommodate the production of interior fabrics, the company developed a machine capable of weaving fabric with a width of 150cm; up until this time, only fabric with a width of 32cm could be woven using Nishijin techniques. The company has gained a lot of attention throughout the world for its high-quality textiles.
In times when precious stones were not used as decorative elements, Nishijin textiles were one of the best items for personal adornment. Techniques were honed with the creation of customized orders of “wearable jewelry” for the Imperial family, the noble class and the shogunate family. The development of techniques involving real gold and silver foil being woven into the fabric was also a result of the tastes of the time.