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issue 2 | March 2020

Japanese Craftsmanship: Aizome

Japanese Craftsmanship: Aizome

Source: FilMelange

Aizome (indigo dyeing) which is also known as “Japan Blue” is recognized for its deep and vivid color. The oldest recorded instance of Ai, or indigo plant cultivation in Japan; dates back to the 6th or 7th century. Historically, Aizome products were regarded as celestial and thus worn only by the Japanese warriors. But eventually these products became popular to the public in the 17th century and were also applied to everyday kimonos, hand towels, and other textile items.

Not only does the Ai has a beautiful color, but it also provides the functionality as being anti-bacterial, insect repellant and odor resistant. Thus, it has resulted in the wide range of usage, even for people with skin problems and even for the newborn babies.

Nowadays, number of artists and designers, whether local and international, are attracted by the versatility and the unique color hue of Ai. Therefore, a complete new range of clothing, leather items, cosmetics and even furniture is born. International fashion brands have also now made collaboration, fascinated by these mystical ingredients of nature.

For the first few years the delicate Aizome products retain their redness and the pigment takes at least five years to settle down in the fabric. After ten years, the color then penetrates into the fiber making it more settled, and after twenty years, it becomes even richer and much more exquisite. This is the reason, why Aizome is said to have a “Life”.

Product: Lightwood Chair

Product: Lightwood Chair

The collaboration between British designer Jasper Morrison and Maruni began in 2011 for the development of “Lightwood Chair” in white mesh. Jasper later commented: “Following HIROSHIMA was never going to be easy, and I decided to do something very different: a chair with a very lightweight structure, taking advantage of the MARUNI quality to reduce it to be a minimalistic design without compromising on any comfort. (A Book of Things)”.

Technical expertise and knowledge that Maruni has, has contributed the attractiveness, lightness and toughness to the chair. White mesh was chosen as the seat for the first Lightwood Chair. The elegant curves of the rear legs and the unique joint structure were the key design elements of the chair, and Jasper clearly couldn’t resist the idea to make them visible through the mesh fabric.

Lightwood series now vary from armchairs to stools, and tables. The chair seat can be chosen from synthetic webbing which makes an interesting contrast with the wood, and then the more traditional upholstered seat in fabric or leather, which provides extra comfort and can also be removed for cleaning. Lightwood chair is a contract chair which is equally suitable to the home.


Salone del Mobile Internazionale 2020 has been rescheduled to June 16-21, 2020. Save the date and do visit us at stand B07-11 at Hall 13!

© 2015-2020 Maruni Wood Industry Inc.

Maruni Wood Industry Inc.
24 Shirasago Yuki-cho Saeki-ku
Hiroshima, Japan

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