⟨ Nice Things ⟩

Retrieve The Shades Of Nature

Patchwork Kamuel by 45R

Words / Elva Pang
Photography / Kimio Ng
Translation / Ian Tsang

穿上去像日本僧侶的工作服,細心看上面的圖案又像哥倫比亞西南部的考伊琴針織毛衣,兩者結合成Kamuel的版型,帶點傳統和服的色彩;染色不均、帶點殘舊感的布料則散發出一股大自然的靈氣。

45R今季以納瓦霍酋長毯為靈感的Kamuel外衣,採用美國有機超長纖維製成的牛津布,並由日本傳統的天然染色方法製作而成,除了標誌性的Aizome藍染,亦使用了奄美大島獨有的泥染技術。位於九州最南端的奄美大島,是現時世上唯一採用泥染的地方,至今已擁有超過一千三百年的歷史,當中又以盛產傳統絲綢「大島紬」而著名。職人先以大鍋煮出厚葉石斑木的汁液來染布,充分上色後再作泥染;厚葉石斑木中的鞣酸和奄美大島泥土中的鐵分產生了微妙的化學作用,使布料變成了黑褐色。整個過程需要重複百多次才能呈現完美的黑褐色,當中的揉搓力度必須依靠職人多年的經驗和直覺,才能染出色調層次有致的紡織品。

奄美大島的島民認為泥田含有大量的鐵是上天的恩賜,泥土有細細的顆粒,據說能使鐵分融入布料,令布料更柔軟順滑,並有防火、防塵的特性。加上,拼貼布料的線與線之間織得非常緊密,令衣服輕薄而保暖;經過歲月洗滌後,使色澤更有個人味道,同時呈現出屬於大自然的色調。


When put on, it looks like work clothing of Japanese monks, but a closer look on the patterns on its surface points to a resemblance to knit Cowichan sweater from the Southwestern part of British Columbia. The two characteristics are combined to form Kamuel, which carries hints of traditional Japanese kimono; fabrics unevenly dyed and slightly worn out give it an aura of nature’s spirituality.

This season, 45R has taken inspiration from Navajo Chief rugs for designing its Kamuel coat, making use of Oxford cloth made from ultra-long organic fibre from the US coupled with Japanese traditional natural dyeing techniques. Apart from the signature Aizome, or indigo dyeing, it has employed dorosome, or mud-dyeing, a unique dyeing technique from Amami Oshima. Situated at the Southernmost part of Kyushu, Amami Oshima is currently the only area in the world using dorosome, which boasts more than 1300 years in history. The area is particularly well-known for its production of traditional silk fabric called Oshima Tsumugi. Craftsmen will first boil branches of yeddo hawthorn tree in a large pot to produce a liquid for dyeing the threads. After the threads are sufficiently dyed, the dorosome process follows. The tannic acid found in the hawthorn will undergo a subtle chemical reaction with the iron content found in Amami Oshima’s mud, whereby turning the threads into brownish black in color. The whole process has to be repeated more than one hundred times for a perfect brownish black color. In particular, the strength applied in the kneading process is based on artisans’ years-long experience and intuition, without which the woven products will not carry appealing layers of colors after dyeing.

The islanders of Amami Oshima believe that the rich iron content in the mud field is a gift from God, and tiny granules inside the mud is said to allow the the fabrics to absorb the iron content, thereby making it softer and smoother, and contributing to its fire and dust-resistant qualities. In addition, the fabrics pieces have been tightly woven together, and thus, the clothes are light, thin and warm. With the passage of time, its colors will even radiate personal flavors and it will also put on hues from the Great Nature.

Force ox patchwork Kamuel $12,995

45R  No.7, Star Street, Vincent Mansion, Wan Chai  2861 1145