A Closer Look at Uchino
We recently released six distinct styles of Japanese towels in our shop and wanted to give you some insights into the acclaimed manufacturer and brand, Uchino.
With headquarters in Tokyo, Uchino is dedicated to creating the world’s finest towels and it all starts with quality materials. Their cotton is sourced from three specific regions in the world: the West Indian Sea Island, XinJiang region in China and Egypt. Cotton from these regions provide a longer, thinner fiber ideal for its production methods. The bounty collected from these cotton fields is then spun throughout integrated factories across Japan. By harnessing Japanese technology to spin specific yarns for each kind of towel, a range of different textures, properties and qualities can be produced.
Here’s a bit more about each specific towel and what makes them so special…
The waffle weave was actually first designed in Europe, but perfected in Japan by weaving the textile with a hollow yarn. The Air Waffle towel is the result of such ingenuity, achieving an unbelievably soft cloth with a unique textured feel. The surface area that touches the skin is minimized with the three-dimensional weave, so the towels feel lightweight and fresh. The microscopic picture above showcases the crevices created within the yarn which gives the towel its namesake. The air trapped inside the yarn makes the towel especially adept for quick drying.
Gauze is created by coarsely weaving cotton yarn into a grid like pattern. It’s history dates back to the to the Middle East where it was commonly used as a see-through fabric. In America, it’s traditionally used in medical practices, whereas in Japan, gauze is more commonly used as a gentle cloth for babies and those with sensitive skin. Weaving gauze with multiple layers and combining it with a different material backing results in an elegant towel that redefines the concept of gauze, while maintaining its properties of being light and soft. Uchino is best known for a three layer gauze towel with a cotton pile backing. These luxurious towels offer two textures in one towel, the gauze side when you need a gentle texture and the pile side for when you want a softer feel.
Yarns are traditionally twisted fibers. But Zero Twist yarns are designed to have almost no twist. The result is a textile with an extra fluffy texture while maintaining an airy softness, evoking the feel of natural cotton. A special fiber is then woven in the center of the yarn to prevent the shedding of its extra fluffy texture.
Zero Twist towels are available with gauze backing here.
Just like its name implies, this towel achieves an incredible lightness and soft texture. The premium softness is only created with extra long staple cotton fibers found exclusively in the Xinjiang province of China. The superior cotton is then spun into a superfine 60-count yarn and shaped to form thin terry loops, allowing the towel to function as a textile with high absorbency rates and heat retention.
For the complete index of bath and body products by Uchino, click on the link here.
All images courtesy Uchino Co. Ltd and The Book of Towels, published by the Magazine House Co. Ltd. Photography by Rowland Kirishima, Masataka Nishi, Toru Kometani, Hisai Kobayashi and Eiichi Kano.