• Event Report

Material Meetup KYOTO vol.05: Thinking about the innovation of materials and design through embroidery – Report

At this meetup that had the theme of "The possibilities of old and new embroidery - Designs of surfaces and textures from thread," about 80 people involved with fashion, design, and textiles spent an enthusiastic time participating. Here is a report on what happened that evening that gave birth to inspiration towards embroidery technology and innovation alongside several seeds of collaboration.(text : Kosuke Kinoshita [MTRL])

An evening where 80 people gathered around the theme of embroidery

Material Meetup KYOTO vol.05 was held on November 22nd, 2019 at FabCafe Kyoto, one of MTRL’s locations.
Material Meetup focuses on the different materials and technology presented each time, and this is an event that searches for innovation from presentations given by various guests. This was the fifth time it was held in Kyoto. The theme this time was, “Designs of surfaces and textures from thread.” Even though it took place on a weekday, about 80 people involved with textiles, apparel companies, creators, researchers, and the media gathered together.

Material Meetup KYOTO vol.5   “Designs of surfaces and textures from thread.” 

Embroidery is a familiar technique, and the digital embroidery machine used as a tool for that can actually be used for things other than manufacturing clothes in terms of “quickly designing and manufacturing various textiles.” For example, “What if embroidery was used on wallpaper…?” and “Could we embroider conductive thread into our bedding that could sense our the state of our health…?” At this event, together with the industrial embroidery machine’s international manufacturer Tajima Industries Ltd., we welcomed guests involved in fashion, design, and textiles to think about embroidery technology and innovation. – Quote from: Event information of Material Meetup KYOTO vol.5

Thinking about innovation for material and design from the perspective of embroidery

The presentations largely followed the following pattern.

1. Learning about technology for industrial digital embroidery machines that are used in various industries
2. Proposals of new representations and creative applications for embroidery from both aspects of functionality and creativity
2. Searching for the possibilities of open innovation by means of embroidery technology
4. Considerations towards examples, progress, and issues related to fibers that use embroidery such as thread and textiles.

By touching on diverse ideas and examples with a perspective on embroidery such as with processing techniques, materials, product design, and the design of mechanisms, that produced an opportunity to all those in attendance for collaborations and new realizations towards “uses for embroidery technology.”

A collection of various samples from Tajima Industries Ltd.'s embroidery machine.
There were also people who brought their materials as last-minute exhibitors on the day of the event.
The actual digital embroidery machine SAI was put on display.
One of the real pleasures of a meetup is interacting with fellow presenters. That creates expectations for new collaborations.

Presenters and presentation themes

The three main presenters this time were: Tajima Industries Ltd. (industrial embroidery machine manufacturer), Masashi Kondo (textile design company pole-pole, designer) and Daijiro Mizuno (design researcher, Kyoto Institute of Technology’s Kyoto Design Lab specially appointed professor).
Additionally, during the lightning talk that featured a short, impromptu presentation, Dai Higuchi (seiken.co.,ltd president), Ryota Ishikawa (Izumi Kogyo co., ltd., sales), and Isao Kitabayashi (COS KYOTO CO., Ltd. / MoonShine Materials) also participated.

Tajima Industries Ltd. (industrial embroidery machine manufacturer)

Presentation 1: “Embroidery technology from Tajima’s brands”

Dai Higuchi (seiken.co.,ltd president)

Presentation 2: “The world of photographic embroidery”

Masashi Kondo (textile design company pole-pole, designer)

Presentation 3: “Surface design and embroidery”

Daijiro Mizuno (design researcher, Kyoto Institute of Technology's Kyoto Design Lab specially appointed professor)

Presentation 4: Embroidery design and the possible future

Ryota Ishikawa (Izumi Kogyo co., ltd.)

Presesntation 5: “The world of lamé thread that supports fashion both in terms of being decorative and functional”

Isao Kitabayashi (COS KYOTO CO., Ltd. / MoonShine Materials)

Presentation 6: “The possibilities and issues surrounding the world of materials for the silverware industry”

Hands-on with the embroidery machine Sai

At the venue FabCafe Kyoto for a period of one week starting from the day after the meetup, an event was held as a free trial of the small-scale high performance digital embroidery machine Sai from Tajima’s brand.

Event details:  https://mtrl.com/event/kyoto/1911_sai-hands-on/ (written in Japanese)

During the event, a large number of people came who were interested in the embroidery machine, and also people interested in using an embroidery machine for their own products or business. This was an opportunity to carefully conduct professional inquiries and discussions about how to operate the machine, how to create the embroidery data, and also manufacturing experiments towards various materials.

A hands-on booth was set up inside FabCafe Kyoto to test out the actual machine while directly asking questions and talking with the manufacturer.

We also handled detailed orders from people who really wanted to use it who picked out colors of thread and brought their own materials to experiment on. In the future at MTRL, we will make an opportunity where people involved with manufacturing can meet and collaborate under the theme of “material, technology, and creation.”

What is Material Meetup?

Material Meetup is a gathering of manufacturers, craftsmen, and creators involved in manufacturing with the theme of “material”.

  • People who “develop materials” that are in search of possibilities and demands in new areas.
  • People who “manufacture materials” that have access to unique processing techniques.
  • People who “research materials” that aim for a sustainable society.
  • People who “design from materials” that are in search of various materials that can be used for complex designs, including with their function, texture, and designability.

From the point of view of “design and technology” and also “society and material”, those types of people cross over barriers in the business world to openly interact with each other, and they are continuously creating opportunities for new projects to come into being.
By learning about the traits and charms of a material that cannot be understood merely from catalog specs, everyone thinks about new scenarios where those materials are likely to be used. With “material” at its core, this is a place where the seeds of projects and collaborations that traverse fields are repeatedly occurring simultaneously. That is what Material Meetup is.

Ever since it began in 2018, differing themes have been prepared and continuously held at each event in Tokyo and Kyoto.

> Information about previously held Material Meetups