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making with KANAGAWA LACE Inc.

KANAGAWA LACE Inc. is situated in Aikou County, Kanagawa Prefecture. The company was founded in 1960.
Since collaborating for minä perhonen’s first embroidery textile, “hoshi*hana,” for the spring/summer 1995 season, KANAGAWA LACE. Inc. has continued to produce minä perhonen’s embroidery textiles till this day for 26 years.
We interviewed Mr. Toshihiro Sato (from here on referred to as Mr. Sato), who has worked with us since foundation of the brand in 1995.

【Looking back at the past 26 years】

Mr. Sato reflects, “Since first creating ‘hoshi*hana,’persistently, minä perhonen has cherished embroidered textile production, deliberately leaving and making the best of free curves expressed by the hand. At first I was very shocked by it.”

Within the lace industry, fine and even, as well as tense embroidery inherited from countries such as Switzerland, France, and Germany postwar was seen as best. To express movements or intonations, or the lines that appear in patterns as embroidery and to transform them into garments, was an aesthetic that was nonexistent according to norms.


【About impressive textiles of the past -‘forest parade’-】

“When I first saw the pattern, I was surprised by the original picture that had designs extended to the left and right from the center. ‘Forest parade,’ first presented for the spring/summer 2005 season, is a textile that left me with the biggest impression.”

During the process of producing laced fabrics, the task of programming each movement of the hand, so that the machinery moves, with precision, according to the data read is called “punching.” There weren’t any major issues in moving forward with textile, “forest parade,” however, the laced part connecting like a single bundle and possessing a three-dimensional look was a new endeavor for us.
Mr. Sato says the process of creating “forest parade” was a repetition of trial and error. He was asked to meet the direct opposite requirement of conventional, tense lace making: minä perhonen requested Mr. Sato that he “create lace that has a soft look.”

When seen from a distance, the lace seems like a single bundle, but when seen up close, 37 kinds of animal and plant motifs appear. The enthusiasm of the creator is infused within the tender impression of “forest parade” it sways along with you as you walk and has a soft and expressive look.


【About Patterns】

Minä perhonen collections are presented biannually. The entire collection making process begins by fabric preparation. Mr. Sato says the time when patterns are brought in is the most joyous moment. He describes moments like these when he deals with patterns with a clean slate and determination, as a “time for dialogue.”

What is minä perhonen looking for? Mr. Sato faces many challenges as he contemplates on various things while trying to understand the work of minä perhonen as a brand and imagining the smiles of the customers awaiting for its products. Nonetheless, these are moments of bliss, describes Mr. Sato, as he grins.


【What I Cherish the Most】

“How the customers would feel and what they would think about my laced fabrics is always the focus of lace making. I wish to finish my embroidery with a touch of human tenderness like I always have,” Mr. Sato speaks, passionately, with a softly spoken voice. Imagining the smiles awaiting each and every embroidery expression, he engages in daily tasks lined up in front of him.



photo1-4 by L . A . TOMARI
photo 5 by Yasuhide Kuge
photo 6 by Teruyoshi Toyota

To be continued