A BATHING APE® has been updating traditional Japanese techniques and culture with a street style in its JAPAN CULTURE collection. This innovative collection, which links the past with the present, now includes items made using the over 150-year-old dyeing technique known as "Chusen".
"Chusen" is a dyeing technique that originated in the early Meiji period. It spread mainly in Kyoto as a dyeing technique for dyeing "Tenugui" hand towels and summer yukata, which were standard household items at the time. The dye is poured from the top to the bottom of the fabric to dye the threads themselves, which allows the unique "blur" gradations of "Chusen" to be expressed, as opposed to uneven dyeing or tie-dyeing. This traditional technique is used to create a camouflage effect that is unique to BAPE®.
Currently, there are only a few machines in Japan that can do this kind of dyeing. One of these rare machines is in Kojima, Okayama Prefecture, a textile industry town known as the world's mecca for jeans.
The injection-dyeing machine has numerous nozzles, pouring dye from above and vacuuming dye from below to dye all the way down to the threads.
The fabric is scrunched together and transferred to the dyeing machine. The sensitivity of the craftsman is crucial because the degree of this nuance determines the finished product. The fabric is dampened with water to allow the dye to soak through
Immediately after removing from the dyeing machine, it is placed in the steam machine in which the heat from the steam sets the color.
After the colors have been set, they are washed further with water and detergent to remove the excess color. The colors are very vibrant, but once this excess dye has been removed, only the natural hue of the "Chusen" remains.
Finally, they are placed in a dryer at a temperature of 70-80°C and hung to dry in the shade.
The final Chusen T-shirts and sweatshirts are printed with BAPE®'s symbolic APE HEAD using semi-rubber ink by the craftsmen.
The sharpness of the lines where colors blend with each other and the natural nuances of color between the light and deep dye make this a rare collection that has a beauty unique to "Chusen". T-shirts, sweatshirts, shorts and coach jackets are available.
This collection will be available at authorized A BATHING APE® stores on Saturday, March 25th.
CHUSEN RELAXED FIT COACH JACKET - $639
CHUSEN LOOSE FIT CREWNECK - $389
CHUSEN RELAXED FIT TEE - $239