Water and Silk
The texture of the silk fabric is decided by the water used.
Among the silk production sites scattered worldwide, Tango’s silk fabrics are highly praised for their texture quality. Tango fabrics are superior despite being made of the same silk, owing to the water used in the refining process.
Sericin is a protein with a certain hardness found on the surface of raw silk. Refining is the process of removing the sericin coating the raw silk that was taken out of the cocoon, leaving only the fiber called fibroin. The most crucial point here is the water-related work. Weavers from Tango use large quantities of high-quality Tango water, creating silk textiles so supple they seem to melt.
Through water and into textiles
In Tango, large quantities of water are required for its unique twisting technology called the Wet Hatcho Twisting. Raw silk is vulnerable to dryness and will snap if twisted as-is. Because of this, the threads need to be continuously sprinkled with water during their twisting process, creating Tango’s unique, three-dimensional hard-twisted woven fabrics. This twisting technology led to countless expressions being woven onto the textures of Tango silk fabrics.
One can say water unlocks new possibilities for silk. These twisting and refining techniques shape the texture of silk fabrics. A piece of single silk fabric can only be completed through many processes requiring plenty of water.
Tango Silk, blessed by the region’s water and mountains
The Tango Textile Industry Association refines Tango silk fabrics using water from the Takano River. The Takano River is approximately 70 meters west of the factory, providing abundant soft water. We process this into soft water of even higher quality and refine it to produce silk textiles with soft and supple textures. The texture of the silk changes along with the quality of the water used. This means the unique feel and texture of Tango silk are shaped by its waters.
Since ancient times, refineries have been built in areas with delicious rice and sake, showing that good water is a top priority in refining. Good water comes from good mountains and soil. Silk and water, and water and the environment. These are always closely linked.
Reading the waters,
a Tango silk refiner’s everyday.
Some days sunny, some days rainy. It’s a given that the quality of water varies every day since it’s swayed by nature. A Tango refiner’s greatest job is to read and control water quality, which is frequently fluctuating. Refiners predict the finish of the silk textile using their senses. Some of them drink the refined water, while some dip their fingers in and taste it, and so on. To dye the same textiles and result in the same color despite being on a different day with different conditions – is the work of a true master.
The delicate sensibilities nurtured by the four seasons of Tango
The changing of seasons may seem unrelated to silk textiles at first glance. However, silk quality actually depends on water and humidity, and water and climate are closely related to mother nature. As a silk production site, Tango is greatly influenced by the surrounding mountains, rivers, and seas.
This is not limited to silk fabrics. Tango, Kyoto, is known for its delicious rice and has received consecutive awards for it. It is also praised for its many breweries despite its population and seafood, including its crabs and yellowtail. All these share a very close link with the nature, water quality, and climate of Tango, where all four seasons are clear.
We who were born amid this blessed natured have had our sensibilities nurtured by the four seasons of Tango. The delicate expressions weaved onto Tango silk textures are a testament to its inspiration by nature.