At the recent Tokyo Girls Collection 2014, held in Koriyama, Fukushima Prefecture, audience was mesmerized to see model Ashley gliding down the ramp in a bridal dress with trail made from Fairy Feather silk, weighing just 600 grams. Fairy Feather silk is the thinnest in the world and was developed locally by Saiei Orimono, based in Kawamata, Fukushima Prefecture.
This innovative silk has a distinct supple and light transparency to it lending a rippling effect and shimmer to the ensemble. The town of Kawamata has long been one of Japan’s renowned silk production centers. It is said that Kawamata silk has been in production for at least 1,300 years. In the Meiji Era (1868-1912) local manufacturers began mass-producing of silk, boosting the industry’s status. Saiei Orimono, which was founded in 1952, began developing ultrathin silk fabric in 2009.
Of late, silk production in Kawamata is hit hard by cheaper overseas products dumped in the market. The volume of production has decreased to a dismal 10 per cent compared to the buoyant times, it had witnessed in the past.