A story by KNIT manufacturer, Daijiro Inayoshi from MN Inter-Fashion Ltd. and PGG
PGG: We are developing knitwear that moves with the body to naturally synchronize with everyday life. The thread count and number of gauges is updated for each style. If it is too thin or too fine, it lacks the characteristic flexibility, so we look for the perfect middle ground. We are refining knitting and compression methods to create refreshing knitwear that can be worn regardless of the season, even in the summer. The long sleeve pullover features a pattern that is not typically used in knitwear. The sleeves have volume, but the two piece structure allows for the arms to swing forward naturally. It is a challenge to achieve an angle at which volume and ease of movement can coexist. The sleeves are attached to the body of the polo shirt, so we add volume to the shape by knitting it laterally. Tape is affixed to the edges of the polo shirt and vest to neatly arrange the hems that have a tendency to drape and flow, thus achieving a knit line that provides volume and silhouette.
Daijiro Inayoshi: It is very difficult to express denim color in knitwear. The products are made with a single thread, so they are inevitably monochrome. To make the denim color stand out, we mix the color at the raw cotton stage. Making fine color adjustments results in an indescribable texture. Thus, we can express denim in a way that stands up to the fabric itself.
A story by PERTEX® manufacturer, Hiroaki Taka from MN Inter-fashion Ltd. and PGG
PGG: This poncho was born out of our desire to create new items. Ponchos may seem restrictive at first, but there are slits on either side allowing the legs to move up, so it can be worn while cycling. The armholes are firmly secured with tape to enable more efficient movements. The length is kept long to protect against mud splatter. The poncho can be secured vertically, horizontally, and around the face with a spindle. The slant is determined based on the position of clothes worn on the shoulders, and it is not secured under the arms, so that it allows for unrestricted arm movements without sliding. The waterproof fasteners, detailed fittings, and storage pouch all reflect our commitment to utility. It is made with Pertex "Shield Air," an outstanding material that we have utilized in the past.
Hiroaki Taka: "Shield Air" is a three layer material with a breathable membrane in the middle that maintains waterproof breathability and durability, even in high heat and humidity or during active movement. This innovative material has special features that enable a comfortable environment by encouraging ventilation and feeling flexible and light. With this waterproof membrane, we strive to maintain the PGG brand image of being suitable for streetwear and daily life by taking the original outdoorsy texture of the material and making it matte and elegant.
"Shield Air" provides a balanced, high level of waterproofing and breathability. Mainstream fabrics are poreless (with no small holes) to prevent water entering, but Shield Air has small pores in its membrane to allow air through. Generally, increasing breathability reduces waterproofing, but by finely tuning the thickness of the membrane, we were able to balance these opposing functions just like human skin. This is Shield Air's defining characteristic. Since its recent release in 2021, it has already received a strong response in the global outdoor industry, and its adoption in various categories is expanding.
A story by PALPAECOR & HYGRA manufacturer,
Norihiko Fukumoto from UNITKA TRADING Co., Ltd. and Teruhisa Naito and PGG
PGG: What kind of T-shirt would you wear for a long time? This is one of the predominant themes that we grapple with. We considered a basic T-shirt that could be part of an everyday wardrobe. Texture is key for a T-shirt that is worn closest to the skin. In a world with an unpredictable climate, rather than clothes that are extremely warm or cool, we wanted a seamless item that would always feel just right. We contemplated the fit of the collar, the slightly long and relaxed sleeves, the ideal shirt length, and a comfortable texture that could be worn as an undershirt or on its own. This season's orange color was inspired by the sunset we saw on Amami Oshima during a shoot. We hope to return soon to a world where we can once again go into nature and see the sunset.
Norihiko Fukumoto and Teruhisa Naito: To achieve this, we went through a process of trial and error and eventually decided to use two types of thread: "Palpa Eco" for the exterior and "Hygra" for the interior. It doesn't wrinkle or lose its shape after washing, so ironing is not necessary. The soft, fluffy texture and moderately thick material can be described as a new concept at the intersection of sweats, T-shirts, and knitwear. We created a tough T-shirt that looks like cotton, acts like polyester, and has a beautiful silhouette.
A story by pattern maker, Mitsuko Kato and PGG
PGG: Patternmaking for clothes is different from making regular clothes. With no seam allowances, it can feel like a craft. When I am drawing lines during designing, I find myself visualizing the human body in my mind, like, where I need to curve or where to bend. The human body moves in mysterious ways, and the repetitive movements are so natural that we hardly become aware of them. PGG, which started out as a sportswear company, has a unique view on the natural movement of the body.
Mitsuko Kato: I draw images on a flat surface using lines which match the contours and movements of the human body, thereby creating a pattern. Patterns are unique. They use many curved lines, so fabrics or threads which are flat or straight have to be cut, paneled, and joined together. Looking closely at clothing will reveal the fine paneling. I'm always thinking about how to make complex details easier. Patterners are always wracking their brains to achieve a high level of precision, but that's what makes PGG pattern creation fun. In addition to functionality, we must also provide excellent design. We often use special and original materials, so testing with a "toile" (a form created with sheeting fabric) can be difficult. Checking test samples which have been made with that material or specification is very important. The garment size can vary greatly depending on the sample check.
PALPAECO is a multi-layered yarn with both the feel of cotton and strength of polyester blend, made by wrapping cotton around recycled polyester. It is wrinkle resistant yet soft, more absorbent than 100% polyester, and dries quicker than 100% cotton. HYGRA, created with unique bi-composite spinning technology has high moisture absorption and release properties. It reduces sticky discomfort by absorbing and releasing the moisture such as sweat and vapor, by automatically detecting the air pressure gap between the clothes and outside.
Dyeing textiles made of nylon, cotton, and polyester on a solid in a bright color is very difficult, and it is a challenge creating a color that all those involved in development are satisfied with. Different technology was used to dye each of the three fabrics- disperse dyes for polyester, acid dyes for nylon, and reactive dyes for cotton. Many ideas were introduced- thinning threads halfway for a more subtle finish, adding another type of thread to create the perfect figure texture, and making a superb gradation. Color checking proved extremely difficult at times working remotely during the state of emergency. We repeated trial and error over an over. We are proud that we have created a completely original material.
A story by DE・KNIT manufacturer, Masahiro Suzuki from TAMURAKOMA Co., Ltd. and PGG
PGG: In the past we have made numerous knit products using polyester yarn, but we wanted to try to create a richer expression, and that’s how we came to produce a shirt using “DE・KNIT”. The challenge with polyester yarn was that it has no corners and is straight, so the finished fabric ends up being flat.
Masahiro Suzuki: To solve this I proposed “KNIT・DE・KNIT”, a special polyester yarn commonly known as "DE・KNIT". Around 1965, in the Koryo area of Nara where socks were highly produced, small circular knitting machines were used to knit and unravel yarn to create DE・KNIT. Now, it is knitted on a small circular knitting machine with a diameter of 15 cm, and then passed through a dyeing machine where the temperature is raised in a vacuum, and the yarn memorizes its shape while being thermoformed. It is then unraveled, and the delicate yarn is rolled up to become DE・KNIT yarn. The yarn is knitted again to produce fabric that has puff, stretch, and is dry to the touch. The voluminous form gives the fabric a thick yet dry texture. Compared to past items, the expression is rich with shadows created in the fabric, and it is a wonder how its unique unevenness resembles cotton.