In the past two years Mr. Oishi has told us again and again how proud he is of Kiwami fabric. For him (and also for us), it is one of the greatest achievements in his entire career, and now he has taken it one step further with these new Kiwami SHM (Semi Hand Made). Unlike the version launched last year, these SMH stand out for a new construction inspired in early 20 th -century jean jackets. 5-mm double stitch seams have been used in some parts of the jacket, while others display a flat felled seam, obtained by placing an edge inside a folded fabric edge and then stitching down the fold. The fold encloses the unprocessed edges to protect them from fraying. What's more, in two of the three models some visible rivets have been added to the back pockets to obtain a vintage aesthetic
Masao Oishi has been aiming for many years to create denim that can express the colour and texture unique to hank dyeing with rope dyeing. With expertise and special techniques come from many years of experience, finally, the Kiwami fabric was made. In hank dyeing, the following steps are repeated; dip a bundle of cotton threads of a ring shape into a pot(containing natural indigo dye), soak it, take it out, squeeze it, and expose it to the air to oxidize. And threads' shades of indigo blue are determined by how many times this procedure (oxidation) is repeated.
The ONI Kiwami fabric is inspired by the "Awa-Shoai (阿波正藍)" traditional dying method. When weaving Kiwami, arranging the light and dark coloured rope dyed natural indigo threads in well balanced were required. Bringing detailed work and expertise, Kiwami could weave. It is as if denim just looks like "Awa-Shoai (阿波正藍)" denim, which is woven with shades of indigo blue threads hank dyed by craftsman. Kiwami is really great rope dyed natural indigo denim; there is nothing like others. Moreover, because threads are dyed by the rope dyeing method, threads' cores are white so that you can enjoy colour fades, gradation and ageing of denim. You cannot do it with the hank dyeing method because the threads are dyed to the core.
The result is a unique natural indigo fabric with a vast amount of slub and a beautiful hue of indigo shadows that only ONI can create. It's one of the most beautiful textiles we have ever seen (take a look at our close-up pictures of the fabric). It is highly irregular denim, both in terms of texture and colour. Thinner and thicker threads run through each other, changing from deep indigo to vibrant electric blue.
The jacket is made with all the superior-quality ONI details such as copper buttons, high-quality pocket cotton lining and a custom veg-tanned deerskin leather patch.
The cut is the traditional Type II style with higher pockets, slimming up the fit a smidge while giving it some additional length in the process. Thanks to that length, hand warmer pockets have been added at the hip.
"I think Kiwami, launched last year, is one of the top three denims in over 50 years of my career" - Masao Oishi.
The legend of ONI is alive to this day. In recent years Oishi-San has devoted himself to experimenting with widely varying grammages, rough textures, different indigo dyeing techniques and novelty cuts while always maintaining a very limited production and wielding his experience in denim which now goes back more than 60 years.
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