Enjoy carefully dyed product of SUKUMO Leather!
Each SUKUMO Leather product is carefully dyed by hand, its colors changing subtly from day to day
Based on the concept of "pursuing the ultimate in beauty," Ginza Mitsukoshi showcases Japanese technologies and artisanal skills on their seventh floor. These include collaborations between traditional indigo and gold leaf techniques--two areas for which Japan is famous--and the latest trends in fashion.
Indigo is said to be the oldest dye material in the world, believed to date back to 3000 BCE in India. Indigo dyeing reached Japan sometime between the years 600 and 700 CE. Dyed clothing was originally worn as a protective layer by members of the warrior class beneath their armor in order to prevent injury in battle, and by the year 1600 or so indigo dyeing was used for a wide variety of clothing and had become an established facet of Japanese life.
At the start of the Meiji Period (1868-1912), the English chemist Robert William Atkinson visited Japan and praised the indigo-dyed clothing of the Japanese people, referring to the color as "Japan blue." It has become a symbolic color for the country and, as many soccer fans already know, even Japan's national team uses indigo-colored uniforms.
Furoshiki, or traditional wrapping clothes, are very popular among visitors to Japan from abroad and have their roots in the unique Japanese custom of gift-wrapping. Soft, pliant, easy-to-tie leather is used for some furoshiki, and the leather material becomes broken in over the years through use, giving it an increasingly attractive, well-loved appearance.
We also offer a broad range of other products with close ties to Japanese culture.
BLUESTONE has produced the ultimate Japanese shoe, achieved through a fusion of Japanese traditional techniques and "Japan blue." Each shoe is carefully crafted using the techniques of Japanese artisans.
The dye oils gradually come to the surface to create a natural exterior luster as the shoes are worn, and users can also watch as the indigo coloring grows richer with time. Customers can choose from among ten different types of leather, and the outsole section is replaceable to ensure that each cherished pair of shoes lasts longer.
SUKUMO Leather products offered at Ginza Mitsukoshi are made using Awa indigo (Awa indigo dyeing has been designated as an intangible cultural property by the national government), which is applied using proprietary Kyoto dyeing techniques to natural leather. The dyes are natural materials made of fermented indigo leaves--the result of roughly 600 years of Japanese dyeing tradition--and the indigo color is achieved when the dye comes in contact with the air and oxidizes. During the dyeing process, the leather is immersed in a mixture of water and fermented-leaf dye and then pulled out again, with this process repeated numerous times--it may take about 40 repetitions to achieve a deep indigo coloring. SUKUMO Leather offers eight different indigo color variations, each with its own subtle characteristics and rich color tones, and product owners can enjoy watching the gradual changes of the indigo coloring as it transforms from day to day. We hope you will look for a special indigo-dyed product to take home and call your own.