The Yuukan Towel we produced this time is dyed in two stages to express the subdued Japanese colors.
First, reactive dyes (common dyes used for dyeing cotton) are used to dye the six colors that form the base of the Japanese colors, using a dye distribution (recipe) that excludes the brown tones of the persimmon tannin.
Then, all the colors are dyed with kakishibu. The brownish tones of the kakishibu dye are added to give each color a slightly dull and subdued appearance.
Since ancient times, persimmon tannin has been known to have antibacterial properties. We chose persimmon tannin dyeing as the basis for this project because we wanted to take advantage of this ancient Japanese wisdom.
Persimmon tannin, a type of polyphenol contained in persimmon tannin, is said to have a concentration 10 times higher than that of green tea or red wine and has excellent deodorizing and antibacterial properties.
This deodorant and antibacterial action prevent bacteria from breeding, so the towels are comfortable and do not have an unpleasant odor even if they are dried indoors or hung on a towel hanger the next day.
Further antimicrobial activity is achieved with the latest nanotechnology.
The antimicrobial effect of persimmon tannin is 99% in terms of sterilization rate, or an antimicrobial activity value of 2 in terms of the index used in laboratories. In terms of the index used in laboratories, the antimicrobial activity value is 2, which is still high enough, but to achieve an even higher antimicrobial activity, an antimicrobial agent using the latest nanotechnology is added.
As a result, the antibacterial activity value of Yuukan Towel jumps to more than 5 on average, realizing a sterilization rate of 99.999%. Even after 10 days of washing, the sterilization rate is still over 99.99%.
Yuukan Towel, which allows you to enjoy a relaxing time at home, has both special antibacterial and deodorizing properties.
Test results of antimicrobial performance
Left: Untreated / Right: With antimicrobial agent
After incubation, bacteria were detected on the untreated fabric, but not on the fabric treated with the antimicrobial agent.
The latest nanotechnology achieves an antibacterial activity value of 5 or higher. 99.99% sterilization rate even after repeated washing.
We continue to think about what kind of feel a comfortable towel that can be used by anyone would have.
・The balance between fluffiness and elasticity
・The texture remains the same even after repeated washing.
San Joaquin cotton is one of the best cotton to satisfy these requirements. Yarns spun from cotton harvested in San Joaquin Valley, California, are used to make the pile of Yuukan Towel.
Compared to other cotton, San Joaquin cotton fibers have a rich natural twist. Natural twisting refers to the twisting that is inherent in the fiber.
The rich natural twists of San Joaquin cotton fibers create a fluffy pile, and the spaces between the fibers formed by the twists improve water retention and dry quickly.
Micrograph of natural twisting of cotton fibers
Thanks to this natural twisting, elasticity is created when the yarn is spun, increasing resilience and producing a fluffy pile towel that is comfortable to wipe with. This natural twisting also creates space between the fibers, which improves water retention and speeds up drying time.
Divine finish overcoming the shortcomings of persimmon tannin
Yuukan Towel: The New Normal Standard
A divine finish overcoming the shortcomings of persimmon tannin. Water absorbency is certified by Imabari Towel.
Although persimmon tannin is highly antibacterial, its inherent hydrophobic properties (water-repelling properties) make it used as a waterproof paint.
Therefore, there have been very few cases where this kakishibu dyeing was used for towels. As I recall, there have been only a few cases. However, this Yuukan Towel has excellent water absorbency. The following is an explanation.
Before dying, the woven towels are scoured with caustic soda (sodium hydroxide) at a high temperature for a short time (a process that removes oil and grease from cotton to improve dyeability and absorbency), but Yuukan Towel uses natural enzymes that do not damage the fibers and maintain the pile shape.
This process allows the appropriate amount of dye to be dispersed and evenly absorbed by the fibers. Finally, persimmon tannin dyeing is used to soften the colors, but the persimmon tannin is not biased and penetrates the fibers thinly, so it does not interfere with water absorbency.
After this, the fabric is washed with natural soap, which does not damage the fibers in the final process.
This series of processes results in an ideal towel that has high water absorbency and little change in texture even after repeated washing while taking advantage of the color and antibacterial properties of the persimmon tannin.
Pile shape change between natural enzyme finish and chemical finish
Upper row: Comparison of pile change before and after 30 washes of natural enzyme finish.
Bottom row Comparison of pile change before washing and after 30 was
I thought that towels with high antibacterial properties would become the standard from now on. Yuukan Towel was completed by selecting the best possible materials, textures, absorbency, washability, and durability for those who want to enjoy luxury in their daily use. The features are summarized below.
Yuukan Towel: The New Normal Japanese Towel
・Uses persimmon tannin, an antimicrobial agent from ancient Japan
・Antimicrobial activity value of 5 is achieved by the latest nanotechnology
・Kakishibu + reactive dyes produce Japanese colors.
・San Joaquin cotton is used for a pile with firmness and fullness.
・ Natural enzymes and soap are used to overcome the disadvantages of persimmon tannin. High absorbency certified by Imabari Towel.
・The texture does not change much even after repeated washing.
・Slightly thin and comfortable to use.
We develop textile products from raw materials.