Afugi Tote Bag: Made in Kurashiki, Japan’s Canvas Heartland

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The high capacity tote bag from Kurashiki, renowned for its extra durable sailcloth. A combo of Japanese craftsmanship and traditions

Afugi

2022.7.11

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The high capacity tote bag from Kurashiki, renowned for its extra durable sailcloth. A combo of Japanese craftsmanship and traditions

Afugi

2022.7.11

Story

Large capacity of 46L! A tote bag made from Kurashiki canvas, with unparalleled  durability and suppleness!

Here in Japan, there are a lot of industries that take root and develop to create production areas.

A major factor of this successful development is the Japanese craftsmanship that upholds the “Japan Quality” standard.

The characteristic spirit of skilled Japanese craftsmen is expressed through the quality of their products.

Another factor is manufacturing processes that take advantage of natural conditions such as climate. The quality of natural materials especially, from their cultivation to their processing, varies greatly depending on the natural conditions.

At Afugi, we share Japanese products, with traditional craftsmanship from each area of production as a theme.

(At Afugi, our main concept is to take in and cultivate Japanese made products, as well as promoting these specialized Japanese made products back to the manufacturing areas.)

In this project, we would like to present you with such a product, made with Japan’s unique craftsmanship.

 The large-capacity tote bag made of Kurashiki canvas! 

Canvas, also called sailcloth, is, as its name implies, said to have been originally used as ship sail material. Its main features are a good breathability and toughness that can withstand even a harsh environment!

By twisting a number of threads together to form a single, stronger thread, the resulting fabric is tougher and thicker. The toughness of this material is said to be the strongest among all cotton fabrics!

① About the Kurashiki canvas

Kurashiki, in the prefecture of Okayama, Japan.

Okayama prefecture is also famous for its denim production, but the city of Kurashiki is first of all a major production area where about 70% of the domestic canvas is manufactured.

The city has been fostering traditions since 1888, while continuing to innovate.

It is a first-class quality canvas reputed across the world and born from Kurashiki’s careful traditional craftsmanship.

The Kurashiki canvas is woven using an old-school shuttle loom. Slowly woven at about one-tenth the speed of modern looms, this fabric is extremely durable and breathable!

Furthermore, Kurashiki’s soft water and the advanced yarn twisting technology passed down in this city for more than 130 years play an important role in the quality of the Kurashiki canvas.

Thanks to the experience and sensibility of skilled craftsmen and the use of now rare antique looms, several 100% cotton yarns tightly twisted together in a supple yet strong thread give form to the Kurashiki canvas, that shows beautifully arranged edges called selvage.

Cotton wool is grown with Japan’s soft water.

The softness of the water allows for the cotton’s vigorous growth and gives it not only strength, but also the suppleness that makes its quality.

The Kurashiki canvas boasts durability, thanks to the advanced techniques involved in its weaving, and elasticity, thanks to Kurashiki’s natural water condition. It is a fabric full of warmth, born from nature’s bounty and people’s care and its quality that still adheres to the stricter, former JIS (Japanese Industrial Standards), combines with the highest technical finesse.

The canvas’ tough yet soft and heart-warming texture is a testament to the pursuit of genuineness, with a craft full of care, consideration, and no compromise or efforts spared.

Kurashiki canvas’ characteristics and performance

Unrivaled durability

This canvas that is both durable and soft thanks to high technical skills and Kurashiki’s favorable natural setting is tough yet refined at the same time!

Technical abilities with 130 years of history to tell

Antique looms slowly weave at about one tenth the speed of modern looms. Our reason for favoring this type of weaving is because it can produce fabrics of a quality unobtainable by other means. The beautiful and functional fabrics that can be obtained that way have been getting in the spotlight overseas during the recent years due to their high quality.

There is no eye-catching novelty and the structure is a simple one, but it is a special bag that was created with durability in mind so that it can be used continuously even 10 or 20 years from now.

② High storage capacity

A 46L capacity that can contain everything you need!

This tote bag’s large storing space is extra useful and convenient for all your outings and outdoor activities.

You can stuff even heavy items inside without worry, the Kurashiki canvas is solid enough to handle it!

Amazing storage capacity!

【Luggage shown as reference】

Hoodie / Cardigan / Pants / 4 T-shirts / Bath towel / Face towel / 2 sets of socks / Water bottle / Miscellany case.

For camping and outdoor activities!

On a picnic!

On a stroll at the park

On holiday or business trips!

Or even when grocery shopping!

This bag is extra convenient on any outing or shopping when you need to carry a bit more than the usual!

Not as extra as a suitcase, but more casual and convenient to take things in and out.

The Kurashiki canvas tote bag is most useful in these situations!

About the design

While aiming for a high capacity and practical tote bag, we also wanted to make it simple.

We want you to enjoy this bag, not only because it matches any style, but also for the Made in Japan quality of its materials and manufacturing.

It is with that hope in mind that we created this tote bag!

These charm points make it a product that you want to use on the long term.

For users to enjoy the inherent quality of the bag, we made it into a minimalist, monochromatic design, with only one outer pocket.

We hope that you will not only use this tote bag tailored for daily life, but also enjoy doing so!

③ A detailed layout

3 well thought out points to match the high storage capacity.

Because it is a high capacity bag, it is bound to hold a lot of heavy luggage. And so we thought of a few points in preparation of any scenario that could come up while using it.

Point 1: A reliable zip fastener.

There to prevent things from falling off, but also to block curious eyes from seeing what you’re carrying with you.

To make it easy to open and close, we’re using a rather large, 8mm (0.3in) fastener, with a 35mm (1.4in) slider that is easy to pick up!

It can be folded once opened!

Zip fasteners tend to just get in the way once the bag is opened as they can get caught as you put in or take out your things from inside.

It won’t be the case here though, as it has been designed to be folded when you are opening the bag.

Point 2: A wide strap to reduce the burden on your shoulder.

Its big size and durability will make you want to put many things inside!

That is why we paid particular attention to the length and width of the strap that will hold it all.

With the perfect length to rest on the shoulder and a 4mm (0.16in) width, slightly larger than the usual tote bag handle, we’re aiming to reduce the burden on the users’ shoulders while maintaining a size that is easy to hold.

Point 3: The optimal length to be worn on the shoulder.

Because of its large size this tote bag will mostly be worn on the shoulder.

And because of the weight it will hold, it needs to sit on your shoulder comfortably.

The handle has enough length to not feel tight when used by taller people with large shoulders, and can comfortably fit both taller and smaller people without colliding uncomfortably in various places.

The side pocket has been thought out to make taking your phone in and out effortless.

The side pocket is there to store small items, a smartphone, a transportation card etc., in an easily accessible place!

Conveying the charm of Made in Japan products

The Japanese manufacturing industry has changed a lot in recent years.

With the affluence of overseas-made goods, it has been steadily declining and in the clothing industry, the domestic production is at a low 2%. In the last 30 years, the ratio of Japanese-made products has decreased to 48%, forcing many factories to close their doors for good.

In spite of this, there are craftsmen who continue to manufacture products daily without ever compromising on quality, making the best of Japan’s technical prowess.

Japan’s craftsmen, and the industries that took root in various regions make our lives more comfortable.

We hope that people get to know more about the charm of Made in Japan products and the depth of Japan’s artisanry, even if only a little.

The history of Kurashiki’s sailcloth

Kurashiki is the birth place of sailcloth in Japan.

It once prospered as the Shogun’s Demesne, under the direct control of the Edo Shogunate.

Various cultures flourished in this area, which was also a place to gather materials, and the sailcloth was one of them.

Kurashiki is the most important sailcloth production area in Japan, covering by itself around 70% of the domestic canvas production.

Why choose Kurashiki’s sailcloth for this project?

「To spread Japan’s technical wonders to the world!」

■ 130 years of history.

■ A texture characteristic of Kurashiki’s canvas.

■ The Kurashiki canvas culture in Japan.

■ The durability and suppleness of Kurashiki’s canvas made possible by skilled craftsmen and the use of antique looms.

We want to give exposure to the Kurashiki canvas, as it is the driving force behind a lot of Japan-made products of outstanding quality. That is the reason why we chose to feature it in this project.

About TAKEYARI co.,Ltd

Kurashiki’s canvas production covers around 70% of the total domestic canvas production and more than half of it is woven by TAKEYARI, a long established factory that boasts 130 years of history, since its founding in 1888.

This factory was also the first weaver to produce sailcloth in Kurashiki.

Even today, it is one of the rare weaving factories to produce canvas in-house.

This Project is promoted by Japankuru Funding, Bringing Japanese Products to the West!

 Product specifications 



■ COLORS: Charcoal gray / Off white / Navy / Black

■ SIZE: Width (at the bottom) 48cm (18.9in), Height 40cm (15.7in), Depth 24cm (9.4in)

Max capacity: Approx. 46L.

■ Material: Kurashiki canvas No.6

The depth being quite wide, the capacity is bigger than it looks! However we were careful to keep the design balanced so that it would not look too big.

Canvas tote bags generally use No.8 canvas, however, our bag uses No.6 canvas.

Although it is a tough and solid material, it has a nice thickness that stays flexible and feels comfortable when worn on the shoulder.

A small red tag brings a color accent.




Shipping

Shipping fees are not included as part of your Kickstarter pledge.

Shipping will be calculated and collected after the campaign ends (using PledgeBox).


 About the brand
 

With “Explore. Discover. Enrich your life” as a concept, our brand shares Japanese-made goods from production areas that inherited special know-hows and techniques.

Various techniques and traditions exist in various parts of Japan, all belonging to a culture that has been passed down for generations to this day and is still very present in our lives in various forms.

“Explore production areas”

“Remind yourself of history and culture”

“Discover the various expressions of craftsmanship”

At Afugi, we aim to enrich people’s lives with products made with care, mindful of the users, while transmitting wonderful techniques and traditions from every region of Japan.

 The meaning behind the brand’s name
 

The item known in Japanese culture as “Ogi” (folding fan), in the past written as “Afugi”, is a tool popular to get some fresh wind.

Since Japan’s ancient times, the spreading shape of the folding fan, similar to the shape of Mt.Fuji, is believed to be a good omen, and thus they have been used in offering dances and by nobles.

They are still used to this day for all sorts of celebrations.

From its representation as a good omen, the folding fan became a “bringer of bonds and opportunities”, and because of its spreading shape, a sign of “expansion and prosperity”.

Sharing the traditional industries and craftsmanship of Japan, a country that values the history and roots that will be transmitted to the next generations, and sharing Made in Japan items born from this respect for traditions, it is with these goals in mind that Afugi was created.

Schedule

Project Starts July 5th

Project Ends August 4th 

Rewards prepared September-November 2022

Rewards arrive to Backers March 2023

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This is an All or Nothing project. This project will be funded if the amount of money raised exceeds its target amount.

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Afugi

Sharing the traditional industries and craftsmanship of Japan, a country that values the history and roots that will be transmitted to the next generations, and sharing Made in Japan items born from this respect for traditions, it is with these goals in mind that Afugi was created.

Select a return to support!

This is an All or Nothing project. This project will be funded if the amount of money raised exceeds its target amount.

Pledge ¥10,104 or more $76 EarlyBird Kurashiki ToteBag x1

Get your hands on a high-quality Kurashiki Canvas tote bag, and enjoy plenty of space and a super tough material to store all your belongings for 40% off the RRP! Choose between 4 colors at the end of the campaign! (Charcoal, Black, Navy, Off White)

INCLUDES:
High-Capacity Kurashiki Canvas Tote Bag

Pledge ¥14,314 or more $108 KS Special Kurashiki ToteBag x1

Get your hands on a high-quality Kurashiki Canvas tote bag, and enjoy plenty of space and a super tough material to store all your belongings for 15% off the RRP! Choose between 4 colors at the end of the campaign! (Charcoal, Black, Navy, Off White)

INCLUDES:
High-Capacity Kurashiki Canvas Tote Bag

Pledge ¥28,628 or more $215 KS Special Kurashiki ToteBag x2

Get your hands on a pair of high-quality Kurashiki Canvas tote bags, and enjoy plenty of space and a super tough material to store all your belongings for 15% off the RRP! Choose between 4 colors at the end of the campaign! (Charcoal, Black, Navy, Off White)

INCLUDES:
2× High-Capacity Kurashiki Canvas Tote Bag

Pledge ¥30,312 or more $228 EarlyBird Kurashiki ToteBag x3

Get your hands on 3 high-quality Kurashiki Canvas tote bags, and enjoy plenty of space and a super tough material to store all your belongings for 40% off the RRP! Choose between 4 colors at the end of the campaign! (Charcoal, Black, Navy, Off White)

INCLUDES:
3× High-Capacity Kurashiki Canvas Tote Bag

Pledge ¥42,942 or more $323 KS Special Kurashiki ToteBag x3

Get your hands on 3 high-quality Kurashiki Canvas tote bags, and enjoy plenty of space and a super tough material to store all your belongings for 15% off the RRP! Choose between 4 colors at the end of the campaign! (Charcoal, Black, Navy, Off White)

INCLUDES:
3× High-Capacity Kurashiki Canvas Tote Bag

Pledge ¥20,208 or more $152 EarlyBird Kurashiki ToteBag x2

Get your hands on a pair of high-quality Kurashiki Canvas tote bags, and enjoy plenty of space and a super tough material to store all your belongings for 40% off the RRP! Choose between 4 colors at the end of the campaign! (Charcoal, Black, Navy, Off White)

INCLUDES:
2× High-Capacity Kurashiki Canvas Tote Bag
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