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