With 43 automatic flatbed knitting machines, we have a production system that is second to none
One of Yonetomi’s defining features is its low gauge knit production capacity, which includes nine 3-gauge knitting machines and eleven 5-gauge knitting machines. Our development staff uses complex programs to produce high value-added textiles, and it is our ability to simultaneously develop new fabrics by refining these complex samples while also maintaining the capacity for mass production that characterizes the strength of Yonetomi’s production system.
Sewing & Pattern Making
Care goes into every part of our products, even those that are unseen
Yonetomi founder Ryoichi Oe was one of the first in the industry to travel to Europe to ascertain for himself how the local knit products felt to the touch and felt to wear. He described his impressions of this experience by commenting that, “you could not help but marvel at the exacting care that went into every part of the items, even those invisible to the eye.” At Yonetomi, we have adjusted our pattern making to accommodate the slackness and elasticity of knitwear, and we continue to rethink our cutting and sewing techniques. The care we take extends to the reverse side of our items, and we devote ourselves – body and soul – to making the best products that we possibly can.
It’s the first samples that really matter. And for the young staff, it’s learning to appreciate the importance of quality and sense.
Our bodies aren’t square – they are rounded. How do we deal with this? We make lots of patterns, and take a good look at the products they result in. By seeing the shapes and styles, you develop a sense for what works. I want our young staff to experience this for themselves, and to discover what works for them. I personally prefer knits that are close to woven fabrics. I guess I don’t really wear ordinary sweaters very much.
Tomoko Suzuki (30 years at Yonetomi / Planning / Chief Pattern Maker)
Sewing is about precision, skill and speed. Through experience, you develop a knack for it.
You learn to do your job by making mistakes. I’ve become a good sewer because of all the experiences I’ve had. I can use lockstitch sewing machines, overlock sewing machines and linking machines, and I know how to stitch hems. I still get nervous when cutting fabric, but I’m careful and try to be as quick as I can. There are a lot of other women in this department, so it’s a lively and fun place to work.
Taeko Sato (15 years at Yonetomi / Sewing / Sewing Machine Operator)
Forming & Linking
Finding solutions through discussion and a seasoned knowledge of each stitch
With high gauge knits, linking parts by sewing together each fine stitch is an arduous process, while the large stitches of low gauge knits makes forming parts a challenge. By cultivating the skills of the young staff who work within our company and at affiliated factories, and by sharing the unquantifiable knowhow accumulated through this process, we seek our own answers to the difficult tasks that require creative solutions.
I love sweaters, which is why I love Yonetomi. Enjoying what I do helps me overcome any challenge I may face.
I’ve always loved knits, and every piece of knitwear I pass on the street manages to catch my eye. I really like the way knits can fit and flatter your upper torso. I wash my own knitwear carefully by hand, and still wear knit sweaters that I bought over a decade ago. These days, we get orders for a wide variety of designs, which makes things really fun. I enjoy feeling all the different kinds of materials, and making sweaters from all sorts of yarns, so I can’t help loving what I do.
Toshiko Nakajima (26 years at Yonetomi / Planning / Forming & Linking)