Ichigo: These are all vintage sweatshirts, right? How old are they?

Satoshi: They are all made in USA during late 40's - mid 60's. They still look great, don't they?

Ichigo: That's cool. Are they still wearable?

Satoshi: You bet. Just because they were knitted by a machine called "Loopwheel". But they can knit only a meter of fabric per hour. I must say it's awfully inefficient in the light of today's technology.

Ichigo: Do they still use this machine in USA?

Satoshi: No, they don't. Exactly speaking, they'd already scrapped Loopwheel machines in the past. Currently they use only the ones for mass production.

Ichigo: Then, where are sweatshirts of LOOPWHEELER being made?

Satoshi: They are being made here in Japan. Fabric in knitted in Wakayama prefecture.

Ichigo: I see. I wonder if I could see the whole process.

Satoshi: OK, let's go. I will guide you through the production.


Ichigo: Nice looking town. I came here for the first time, but mountains are nearby, very much calming place.

Satoshi: This town looks a bit rustic now, but in the past, this place had been the biggest factory area in Japan for circular knitting. There are still a few factories running Loopwheel machines.

Satoshi: This is the factory of Kanekichi co. They are knitting Loopwheel fabric for us.

Ichigo: Are they winding yarn here?

Satoshi: Yes, this machine is re-winding yarn to make it suitable for knitting machine. The first stage of knitting.

Ichigo: I've never seen this kind of machine. Rotating very slowly...... Is this a Loopwheel?

Satoshi: That's right. It's rorating 24 rounds per minuite, knitting fabric. It's so slow that actually you can count it.

Ichigo: I see, is that factor making soft fabric?

Satoshi: Being slow means no excess tension. Fabric is being made with very much relaxed yarn, making fabric with softness which comes from cotton yarn itself.