Wool suits 'samurai' tailor

06 Mar, 2013 01:00 AM
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Japanese master tailor Kenichi Kaneko.
Japanese master tailor Kenichi Kaneko.

MANY images could be conjured up by the term "Samurai Suiting", not least that of a tailor with ninja-like skills seamlessly producing an immaculate outfit.

And you would probably expect it to be in some upmarket area of Japan - not a Sydney suburb.

But last week at M.J. Bale's Woollahra store, Japanese master tailor Kenichi Kaneko was on hand to display his skills as part of the store's custom "samurai suiting experience" and discuss the benefits of wool - the mainstay of the M.J. Bale brand.

Kaneko oversees the making of all M.J. Bale suits in the family factory in Iwate in the north of Japan.

"To make the best quality suits, the most important point is the fit, and also comfort," he said.

"We focus particularly on the collar and arm holes - they are all hand sewn.

"We could use a machine to finish these details, but we choose to hand finish the garments because when the customer wears them, they can feel the difference."

Kaneko said there were a number of factors to consider when working with wool, particularly because of its unique characteristics such as moisture absorption.

The specific geography of the factory is due to this, he said, as it is a humid climate.

This allows them to work with the natural stretch of wool, which they can work around as opposed to cotton or linen.

Kaneko said Australian wool in particular was much finer and delicate.

"Because of its character it is the best quality to wear, the way it feels on the skin is amazing.

"Wool is cool in summer and warm in winter."

TheLand

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