Circlelabo Hoodie: Japanese-made warm & comfy hoodie

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Using special American Sea Island Cotton, fabric on very ancient machines 1m per hour, this Japanese-made hoodie is warm & sturdy!

Antai Knitting

2022.10.4

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Using special American Sea Island Cotton, fabric on very ancient machines 1m per hour, this Japanese-made hoodie is warm & sturdy!

Antai Knitting

2022.10.4

TSURIAMI full ZIP hoodie

TSURIAMI pullover hoodie


Under the influence of the Coronavirus, the demand for apparel from clients has greatly decreased, and it was difficult to rely only on existing patrons. And so in 2020 we founded our own brand “Circlelabo” that is proud of proposing entirely “Made in Japan” products, from knitting to product planning, including dyeing and sewing.





A vintage knitting machine that exists only in Wakayama,

American sea island cotton revived after 100 years,

A 124-year-old apparel manufacturer with five sewing factories in Japan,

We are releasing a TSURIAMI cotton fabric hoodie that brings together their history.


Using high quality cotton known as "fiber gem" and "miracle cotton" made from "American Sea Island Cotton", and a vintage knitting machine that can knit only 1m per hour, we created a TSURIAMI cotton fabric, and with it, durable, Made in Japan hoodies that can last you for a lifetime.


A loopwheel machine is an old-fashioned knitting machine developed in Europe in the early 1800s.


It began to be imported to Japan in the early 1900s and was active on the front lines of the Japanese knitting industry until the 1960s, but with the start of an era of mass production and mass consumption, high-speed knitting machines that emphasized mass production became mainstream, and loopwheel machines with extremely low productivity gradually disappeared.

In addition, machine manufacturers also stopped production, and many loopwheel machines were disposed of.


Nowadays, it is a rare knitting machine that remains only in Wakayama, Japan.



Loopwheel knitting machines lined up in a knitting factory. Knit slowly and carefully at a speed of about 1m per hour.

The origin of the name "loopwheel machine" comes from the unique manufacturing method in which the machine is suspended from a pillar and rotated to knit the fabric in a cylindrical shape.

A knitting needle called a bearded needle is fixed to the machine, and the surrounding gear knits as it places the thread on the needle.

The loopwheel machine can only knit about 7 sweatshirts even if it is operated for a day at about 1 meter of fabric knitted per hour.

In terms of productivity, it is only about 1/180th of the current mainstream circular knitting machine, making it an "obsolete" knitting machine unsuitable for mass production.

However, there is no extra tension on the thread, and the weave is slowly and carefully knitted, leaving room in the stitches, so the fabric can be knitted in a very airy manner giving it volume without destroying the soft texture of the thread itself.

The knitted fabric is not pulled and wound like on a normal knitting machine.

Because it naturally accumulates in the lower part of the machine under its own weight, it creates a plump finish without applying unnecessary stress to the fabric.



The fabric does not be winded up by forcibly pulling it, and it accumulates under its own weight, so there is no unnecessary tension.

It is soft yet sturdy, and retains its softness and its shape with little shrinkage even after repeated washings!


This is the reason why vintage sweatshirts continue to attract many fans even after more than 50 years.



Fabric surface (Navy)

Every detail is thought out not to burden the fabric, down to the tip of the needle.

The needles of the loopwheel machine (beard needles) have rounded tips, which do not damage the thread and wear the needles less than the flat needles used in circular knitting machines.

The bearded needle is a rare needle that is currently only produced in Germany.

Since the production of the loopwheel machine has already ended, if repair is necessary, we will perform maintenance by removing parts from another knitting machine that is in storage.

Compared to other knitting machines, it is particularly difficult to handle, and only the factory manager and a few skilled craftsmen are in charge of it.



Loopwheel knitting machine maintenance by skilled craftsmen.


Revived after 100 years, American Sea Island Cotton has a luster like that of silk and a touch like cashmere.

Because all extra-long staple cotton (Pima, Giza, Suvin, Xinjiang, etc.) in the world are descended from this cotton, Sea Island cotton is the source of all ELS cotton.

Sea island cotton from the West Indies is extremely rare (less than 1/100,000 of the total cotton production) and is well known as the finest long fiber cotton.

American Sea Island Cotton (LUXSIC) is the name for the cotton that inherits 100% of this species’ DNA and is grown in the United States.


Cotton fields of American Sea Island Cotton

Around 1785, Barbadense (extremely long cotton) cultivated in the Caribbean was brought to the Sea Islands region of Georgia and South Carolina via the Bahamas.

Thus was the cotton grown there named Sea Island Cotton after the name of the place.

Cultivation of this Sea Island cotton flourished mainly in the coastal areas of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, but was destroyed by a large-scale pest attack around 1920.

100 years later, thanks to the passion of engineers and the evolution of modern agriculture, Sea Island Cotton has been revived in New Mexico, USA.

That is the story of American Sea Island cotton.


After harvesting American Sea Island cotton, it is compacted and loaded onto a truck.


TSURIAMI hoodies made of regular cotton,

This kind of product is often sold for about 20,000 ($140) to 30,000 yen ($210),

By producing in our own factory and selling directly, we can cut costs in retail and wholesale,

Doing that let us achieve a similar price but using the finest American Sea Island cotton.



In the Japanese apparel industry, the ratio of overseas production exceeds 97%,

By producing in Japan, we can respond to a demand for small lot production with our own selection of materials and specifications,

And by drawing a line between us and society’s mass-production and consumption,

We hope to be able to save Japan’s local production sites from decaying.

​​Japanese craftsmen sewing at our factory in Tottori Prefecture



The hood part is soft and has a nice volume.

The hoodie comes with both a hologram tag with a serial number and a woven tag proof that it is made of "LUXSIC, American Sea Island Cotton".

In order to improve the comfort, durability, and appearance, the seams on both sides, under the sleeves, and on the shoulders are all covered with cotton herringbone tape.



Three-dimensionally voluminous hood (pullover hoodie) by using two layers of fabric
Large hood viewed from behind
Kangaroo pocket on the front (pullover hoodie)
Hood string with bullet tip finish
A three-dimensional voluminous hood (full zip hoodie) by using double layers of fabric and attaching a zipper to the neck.
YKK's highest grade line "Excella" is used for the top and bottom opening zipper
Cotton tape covers the seams on both sides, under the sleeves, and on the shoulders.
A tag certifying that 100% American Sea Island cotton is used as raw material
The tag has a hologram and a serial number to ensure traceability, proving that American Sea Island cotton is used.
American sea island cotton woven label (inner left side)
American sea island cotton woven label (rear left hem)

Dark Navy
Black
Gray (KICKSTARTER limited color, full ZIP type is also available.)


Model: 176cm tall Wearing size: L
Model: 176cm tall Wearing size: L


Model: 166cm tall Wearing size: M


Model: 178cm tall Wearing size: L

Model: 178cm tall Wearing size: L





100% COTTON

MACHINE WASH AT COLD TEMPERATURE.

ONLY USE NON-CHLORINE BLEACH IF NEEDED.

TUMBLE DRY LOW.

WARM IRON OR DRY CLEAN.


Project campaign 10/04/2022 - 11/08/2022

Arrangement for the fabrics  08/2022

Knitting  09/2022 - 12/2022

Dyeing 12/2022

Finishing and cutting 01/2023

Product sewing and finishing 01/2023 - 02/2023

Reward shipment 03/2023





Antai Knitting Co,.Ltd.

https://www.antai.co.jp

Our company is a company that manufactures and sells knit products and was founded in 1898 in Asahi Ward, Osaka City.

We have been specializing in circular knitwear for many years, and have been promoting our business mainly through OEM and ODM, producing orders for famous apparel and trading companies.


Antai Knit Co., Ltd., when it was founded (1898)

In cooperation with each spinning factory and fabric manufacturer, we have continued to create products while being very particular in our yarn selection! 

​​We have received high praise both domestically and internationally for the products we manufactured for private brands of famous American department stores and products from domestic and foreign apparel brands.



Antai Knit Osaka Head Office

The knit products we handle are generally items called cut and sew products, and our main products are polo shirts and T-shirts. 

We are headquartered in Osaka, and we have five factories in Tottori Prefecture and one affiliated factory in Okinawa Prefecture, so we can respond to orders from all kinds of customers!


Own factory in Tottori Prefecture

While we handle drafting, production and cutting with CAD「Computer Aided Design」and CAM「Computer Aided Manufacturing」along with Internet order management systems, the sewing and finishing of our products, or the manufacture of samples is performed by hand by very skilled craftsmen, for a production process that allies both tradition and innovation.



Circlelabo

Authenticity, Timelessness and Comfort

In order to deliver classics centered on these 3 aspects, that are loved across generations and eras, we launched『circlelabo』in 2020.

https://shop.circle-labo.jp/



The brand name comes from our circular knitting technique,

An economic system that preserves and maintains the value of products, materials, and resources as long as possible and minimizes the generation of waste (Circular Economy),

And combines it with research and experiment (laboratory).


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

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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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Antai Knitting

Our company is a company that manufactures and sells knit products and was founded in 1898 in Asahi Ward, Osaka City. We have been specializing in circular knitwear for many years, and have been promoting our business mainly through OEM and ODM, producing orders for famous apparel and trading companies.

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 ¥18,700 or more $130 Early Bird Pullover Hoodie

Get yourself a warm and sturdy pullover at 15% off!
Choose from 3 colours at the end of the project: Dark Navy / Black/ Gray
Choose from M/ L / LL / 3L / 4L

INCLUDES:
Pullover Hoodie

Pledge ¥20,900 or more $145 Pullover Hoodie

Get yourself a warm and sturdy pullover!
Choose from 3 colours at the end of the project: Dark Navy / Black/ Gray
Choose from M/ L / LL / 3L / 4L

INCLUDES:
Pullover Hoodie

Pledge ¥22,440 or more $156 Early Bird Zip-up Hoodie

Get yourself a warm and sturdy zip up hoodie at 15% off!
Choose from 3 colours at the end of the project: Dark Navy / Black/ Gray
Choose from M/ L / LL / 3L / 4L

INCLUDES:
Zip-up Hoodie

Pledge ¥25,080 or more $175 Zip-up Hoodie

Get yourself a warm and sturdy zip up hoodie!
Choose from 3 colours at the end of the project: Dark Navy / Black/ Gray
Choose from M/ L / LL / 3L / 4L

INCLUDES:
Zip-up Hoodie

Pledge ¥35,200 or more $245 Pullover Hoodie x2

Get yourself two warm and sturdy pullovers at 20% off!
Choose from 3 colours at the end of the project: Dark Navy / Black/ Gray
Choose from M/ L / LL / 3L / 4L

INCLUDES:
Pullover Hoodie

Pledge ¥38,720 or more $269 Early Bird Pullover Hoodie & Zip-Up

Get yourself both a warm and sturdy pullover and a warm and sturdy zip-up at 20% off!
Choose from 3 colours at the end of the project: Dark Navy / Black/ Gray
Choose from M/ L / LL / 3L / 4L

INCLUDES:
Pullover Hoodie
Zip-up Hoodie

Pledge ¥42,240 or more $294 Zip-up Hoodie x2

Get yourself two warm and sturdy zip up hoodies!
Choose from 3 colours at the end of the project: Dark Navy / Black/ Gray
Choose from M/ L / LL / 3L / 4L

INCLUDES:
2× Zip-up Hoodie

Pledge ¥72,600 or more $505 Pullover x2 Zip-up x2

Get yourself two warm and sturdy pullovers and warm and sturdy zip-ups at 25% off!
Choose from 3 colours at the end of the project: Dark Navy / Black/ Gray
Choose from M/ L / LL / 3L / 4L

INCLUDES:
2× Pullover Hoodie
2× Zip-up Hoodie
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