Mankind has been fighting against the cold for thousands of years.
To bear the cold, we build a house with a roof and walls to live in, start a fire to keep warm, and tailor warm clothes to wear. One can say that our culture and livelihood have developed by repeating these activities.
Sheep are animals that are indispensable to talk about the history of humankind and the cold.
Various theories exist, but since about 7,000 B.C., we humans have raised sheep as livestock and used their wool to make clothes, bedding, and textiles for warmth. Sheep have coexisted with humans for nearly 9,000 years and there are about 3,000 sheep breeds today after repeated mating.
Wool has been useful to humankind for such a long time owing to three major characteristics:
– That the fiber itself is crimped makes it warm
– Its short entwined hairs bring about excellent elasticity and breathability, making it comfortable to wear
And relating to water pollution in rivers and oceans caused by laundry wastewater, which has become a major problem in recent years,
– As it is a natural fiber, it is highly biodegradable and returns to nature
These are the reasons we chose wool as the most suitable material for making a fleece product, instead of the widely used polyester.
In fact, the word “fleece” originally means “a lump of fur coat-like, entwined sheep hair produced as a sheep’s hair is clipped off with a clipper.” In other words, “fleece” originally refers to wool, not chemical fibers.
Following this etymology, we have produced a completely new fleece made from wool, “THE WOOL FLEECE.”
Because it is fiber with low thermal conductivity and high hygroscopicity and each piece of fiber is crimped, wool contains a lot of warm air. However, being a natural fiber with short and fragile hairs, the problem was that it could not be made into a brushed fabric alone.
To solve this problem, we adopted chenille yarn for the material of THE WOOL FLEECE.
Chenille yarn is a type of yarn having upright pile on the whole surface produced by placing a yarn between two yarns before being twisted together. The fabric, which uses a small amount of nylon only for the core yarns and only wool for all the yarns to wind around, keeps the body warm without releasing heat to the outside (mixing ratio: 92% wool, 8% nylon).
Made by knitting plenty of chenille yarns in a precise and careful manner, the fabric has a large volume of soft hair standing on the surface, which makes it feel great to the touch. Also, as short hairs of wool are naturally entwined with each other, the fabric has elastic and breathable characteristics. The inner side of the fabric is not lined with synthetic fibers to make the most of the unique touch of wool.
Both sides of the waist pockets are designed as hand warmers.
Fit together with the sewing line without a zipper attached, the hand warmers are placed inconspicuously. At the same time, the sewing design of the fabric makes them function as simple inner pockets.
A zippered pocket is attached to the chest to hold a smartphone and keys, making it useful as outerwear.
This wool fleece is hand-washable at home.
In fact, most of the general fleece products are made of polyester brushed fabric, so the fibers come off every time you wash it. After draining, these fibers flow into the river and sea in the form of microplastic (fiber). To reduce this, it is effective that you choose quality items that do not allow the threads to come off and use a washing net of fine meshes. Besides this, we believe that using natural fiber wool for brushed fabric production can be another solution. Natural fibers are highly biodegradable and will return to nature over time.
THE WOOL FLEECE is manufactured by Yonetomi Seni, a company founded in Yamagata Prefecture, one of Japan’s prominent knit producing areas. Since its founding in 1952, the manufacturer has been conducting research on knitted fabrics and to date, it has archived more than 20,000 patterns.
A weft-knitting machine is indispensable for producing low-gauge knits. The manufacturer owns 43 fully automated weft-knitting machines, which is the largest number in Japan. With its world-class production system, the knit manufacturer has gained the immense trust of apparel brands.