Washi: paper turned into cloth
By clothing-bag, 09/12/2022

Washi: paper turned into cloth

Yoshihiro Machida, for being a long distances runner for whole days, was used to having his feet blisted and perspired.If he crossed a stream or stepped on a puddle, he was wet and cold feet.

But about 10 years ago, says Michiyo Nakamoto in Nikkei Asia, Machida changed her usual zoquetes for a pair of stockings with five fingers made of Washi, that is, the centenary Japanese paper."At first I felt the rigid and little uncomfortable zoquetes.It seemed that I was walking on sand, ”recalls Machida.But I didn't get blisted, even after running for days ".

Compared to its traditional running average, those of Washi, made by the Japanese company Itoi LSR with the Itaitex brand, were lighter and dried faster.

With garments made of Washi, all that needs to be done is to take them out and leave them for a few hours and, miraculously, "the smell disappears," says Machida and adds that his Washi underwear also keeps him without smell, even after a run30 hours in the humid and hot Japanese summer.The Washi, light and thin but strong, absorbent and durable begins to attract as a sustainable and eco-friendly alternative for synthetic and natural fibers.In Japan, Washi fabric is mainly used for household products, such as spots separating environments, lamp and umbrella screens.

The clothing are called Kamiko, which means paper clothes, were used by the samurai, merchants and Buddhist monks for centuries.To this day, the monks of the Temple Ytodaiji in Nara, the ancient imperial capital, use Kamiko paper robes during the the shuni-e ceremony that is celebrated in early March, a tradition that dates back 1.200 years ago.

Washi: papel convertido en tela

But it was not until 20 years ago that advances in technology and the growing demand for sustainable clothing renewed efforts to wear Washi in daily clothes and in other products, explains Hiroshi Yamauchi, a member of the Oji Fiber directory, which makes yieldEye+ Washi.Now, exterior clothing manufacturers and even fashionable houses increasing.

Washi has been used by the Japanese fashion designer Issey Miyake and the Italian high fashion brand Tod’s, which used Washi of Itaitex brand in 2018 inside drivers shoes.Wildling, a German shoe brand, 100 ago.000 Pares of Washi Itaitex shoes a year in its factory in Portugal.Underson Underson and Sasawashi from Japan makes a variety of Washi products, from underwear and shirts to towels and stuffed animals.

Washi has a series of characteristics that make it ideal, especially for products that are used in contact with human skin, says Daizo Kubota, director of Itoi LSR.First, naturally absorb moisture, bacteria, smells and even ultraviolet rays.

Like coal, which also comes from trees and plants, the Washi has tiny pores where millions of microbes live.There are data that show that these microbes absorb moisture, pollutants, smells and other air matter, but the mechanism that unleashes that activity is a mystery.

It is also said that the washi absorbs twice as much water as cotton and that it releases quickly because due to its tiny pores.It is comfortable to the skin because it minimizes the friction generated by fluff.

For all these reasons, as many runners have proven, using Washi stock.

As it derives from trees and plants, it is biodegradable, which makes it an attractive material when sustainability is essential to protect the environment.

Due to its complex production process, for a long time it was limited to the field of crafts.Now, industrailization is key to making it more accessible as a source of clothing material and other products to use.

It is not as strong as leather or as soft as many synthetic fabrics.The fabric is durable and can be washed thousands of times, but need more strong to be used in shoes.That is why itoi lsr entertaining polyester on the sides of the shoes where they do not touch their feet.