At Mothwerk we are huge fans of Tamaki Niime, not only for her stunning fashion and cotton but also her philosophy based around people and the environment. Her history are as interesting and unique as her ever evolving products and design.
Tamaki Niime specialises in apparel produced using Banshu-ori fabric. Banshu-ori is a traditional brand of fabric manufactured in the North Harima area of Hyogo. The methods used to weave and dye the fabric are based on a technology brought to Hyogo by ”Miyadaiku” Yasubei Hida from Kyoto around 1800.
In 2004 fashion designer Niime Tamaki (originally a from Katsuyama-shi, Fukui) began working with Banshu-ori after a chance meeting with a Banshu-ori craftsman in Tokyo. Tamaki launched her own brand "tamaki niime" in 2004, which produced Banshu-or using both new manufacturing methods and traditional ones. For three years she designed and sold apparel in Osaka, using fabric woven by craftsman in Nishiwaki. In 2006 she decided to expand and established the company "tamaki niime".
The company moved to a store in Nishiwaki-shi, where they continued to weave and dye Banshu-ori. Tamaki started to do weaving in addition to her design activities and learned how to operate the loom. She experimented with the fabric, and developed a soft cloth that was difficult to sew and had the consistency of cotton candy. She wrapped it around her neck and noticed it was very comfortable to wear. This fabric became the “Only One” shawl, which was the main product of the company at the time. It was marketed as “an original shawl loved by everyone regardless of gender, age, or nationality”. The “Only One” shawl is woven using a belt-type power loom made in 1965, which creates a unique pattern and feeling that cannot be replicated using more modern machines.
The company continues to weave this fabric and apparel from it. The factory uses a variety of equipment to support the designing, dyeing, weaving, and sewing processes including a belt-type power loom, a rapier loom, yarn dyeing machine, warper, and CAD/CAM.
The vision of Tamaki Niime is to turn the town of Hie-cho, where they are located, into a cotton town. In 2014 they began cultivating organic cotton on borrowed, abandoned farmland. They also are attempting to boost net domestic production of cotton by purchasing cotton seeds from growers at harvest and distributing them to people so they can also grow cotton. As they look to expand their business, Tamaki does consider issues of mass production, mass consumption, and global environmental impacts. In addition to cultivating cotton they grow vegetables which are used in their café annexed to their factory.
To view our ever expanding range of Tamaki Niime products click here.