Ibara, Okayama Prefecture, an area known globally for its denim production, is home to OKAMOTO TEXTILE. The mill has continued to produce fabrics, with a focus on indigo, for over half a century. In addition to old-fashioned shuttle looms, OKAMOTO TEXTILES uses leading technology and jacquard looms to develop a wide array of fabrics from authentic selvedge denim to innovative fabrics.
A shuttle loom. When using analog looms, one must rely on their senses - sound, vibration, touch - to detect any abnormalities amidst the constant ringing of sounds within the factory and perform the necessary rework.
Weaving the denim's iconic red selvedge line.
Yarn is the most important aspect of creating denim. OKAMOTO TEX. features carefully selected quality cotton from around the world including the United States, Australia, and Brazil, to create high-grade denim fabric.
The weft is wrapped around the shuttles on an automatic vintage machine near the shuttle loom. A large stack of shuttles is prepped in advance, as there is a limit to the amount of yarn each shuttle can hold.
Dyed indigo, the yarn must be reinforced with starch as they are woven with a strong force. OKAMOTO TEX. operates 30 vintage shuttle looms. While productivity is inferior to that of its modern counterparts, the shuttle looms are favored by customers to this day for its capabilities to produce a uniquely textured and nuanced vintage, selvedge denim.
In addition to shuttle looms, OKAMOTO TEX. operates various modern looms. The mill creates innovative denim using different looms, such as the rapier loom for fine-count denim. Intertwining technology both old and new, the mill honors tradition while realizing innovation.
The view from a factory window. Filled with the sound of looms inside, the factory is surrounded by beautiful, peaceful scenery.
OKAMOTO TEXTILE President Okamoto
Globally-acclaimed selvedge denim, made on vintage shuttle looms. In order to produce high quality, unique fabrics on old-fashioned looms, we have refined the mechanical structure of these looms. We are able to create selvedge denim unique to each customer by operating a machine that can stitch names into the selvage. We also operate modern looms and cater to our customers' various demands.
At present, in addition to creating fabrics, we have opened an authentic denim sewing factory in Setagaya-ku, Tokyo. We take on a new approach to business by using denim and sewing to foster communication with those in metropolitan communities and to continue to contribute to the future of apparel.