Not far from Osaka, in the Kansai province of Japan are the sacred mountain and dense forest of Kumano Kodo which dominate the area, recently added to Unesco’s World Heritage list. We are in Wakayama, not far from the pilgrimage site of the Japanese archipelago, where we find the stitching workshops of the Toki Sen-i company. There are 250 machines which create high quality knits continuously, destined, for the most part, for Japanese fashion designers and creators.
Toki Sen-i, however, is not a knitting manufacturer like any other. Its unique characteristic? The “Tsuri” knitting machines which tick over very slowly. Whilst a number of modern companies make speed and efficiency a priority, Toki Sen-i has opted for a slower production on old fashioned machines, which deliver a stitch with character, particularly soft, supple and comfortable, a weave which could not be produced using the fast, circular knitting machines which are so popular in today’s factories.
More than one hundred years of tradition, experience and knowledge have contributed to the exceptional quality of the Toki Sen-i knits. Although they seem to have come from another time, the key values of this unique Japanese company achieve in creating products which are well anchored in the modern day.