About us

History

The roots of Kano-ko go back to 1889, when Yasujiro Kano set up a new branch for the Sahei Kameya family, and his eldest son Kiichiro took over and expanded the business. Kiichiro Kano had two sons, Giichi and Koichi, who took over the business together, but in July 1949 the younger brother Koichi went independent by founding Kano-Ko Co., Ltd.

Kano-Ko began to offer a wider variety of obi products. Starting with maru obis for formal occasions, Kano-Ko’s range of products increased to include casual 8-sun obis and reasonably priced formal fukuro obis targeted at department stores.

Masashi Kano (now president), a member of the Kano family who had been working at a kimono fabrics store in Ginza, joined Kano-ko in June 1976 and began to refocus the company’s efforts on specialty retail stores. The company began creating fukuro obis that feature urbane tastes based on the artistic sense that Masashi Kano had developed through his experience in Ginza. This effort started to generate stable income in 1981-1982 and gained the attention of the industry for its uniqueness. From 1986, Koichi Kano served as chairman of the Nishijin Textile Industrial Association for six years, which made Kano-ko known as a representative brand of Nishijin textiles throughout the nation. He later received the Fourth Order of Merit from the emperor of Japan. Masashi Kano gradually took the leadership in the production of Kano-ko obis, and the focus underwent a shift from traditional formal fukuro obis targeted at department stores to formal but contemporary ones with sophisticated tastes oriented to specialty stores, thereby giving the company a unique position in the market for fukuro obis. Meanwhile, the company produced many obis to be delivered to the Imperial Household, making it known as one of the leading makers of hand-woven Nishijin obis of the finest quality.

Kano-ko products appeared in the world-famous fashion magazine Vogue Paris and in the Japan Art Special Exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, where they remain in the museum’s collection. In 1991, when President Koichi Kano took the office of chairman, Masashi Kano became president of Kano-ko. Entering the Heisei era, Kano-ko reinforced its emphasis on the urbane tastes of color and chicness, free from the conventional image of Japanese costume, and secured a firm position in the Nishijin obi market.

Company Profile

NameKano-ko Co., Ltd.
RepresentativeMasashi Kano
Address20 Horinoue-cho, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto 602-0057
TEL: +81-75-441-3114
FAX: +81-75-441-3118
Capital20 million yen
Employees15
Main banksMizuho Bank, Ltd., Bank of Kyoto, Ltd.

Innovative approach

Kano-ko, in an effort to apply its skill at weaving to interior fabric, dress fabric, and other like products, has in 2015 created a new textile division named Kano-ko 440.

Introducing a New Product Line from Kano-ko

Kano-ko 440 (Double-width Fabric)

Materials such as dress fabric and interior fabric can be weaved at widths of 110 cm, 150 cm, and so forth, using a simple weaving machine known as a “rapier loom.” A rapier loom cannot produce a complex obi structure that expresses patterns separately from the material; it can only express a pattern through the material. Furthermore, the expression of vibrant colors is difficult, and, as a consequence of the structure’s simplicity, patterns other than flat patterns cannot be expressed.

By applying its original skills using styles like twill weave to materials of greater width, Kano-ko has realized detailed expression of three dimensional patterns with depth not brought out in the past. Additionally, Kano-ko has succeeded in weaving materials which use vibrant colors, such as could not emerge from a common rapier loom.

The expression of materials and patterns for all fabrics is determined based upon their design drawings, and Kano-ko came to be able to apply a way of creating complicated design drawings for obis so as to go beyond conventional expressions. It was precisely because it possessed this skill regarding obis through the years that Kano-ko developed the ability to produce exceptional materials.

Fab Cuir (Silk-Leather Composite Fabric)

Kano-ko has developed a composite fabric of silk and leather by weaving patterns on textured hides with gold or silk thread, at the same time as weaving in cut leather in place of metal leaf to form materials. By means of this, the company has realized a ground-breaking method for free expression through weaving patterns, which is in addition to the elements of traditional leather processing of dyeing, embossing, and printing, and expanded the possibilities for leather in a whole new way. The widths of the materials come in 30 cm and 90 cm, and so they can be used differently according to their purpose.

This extraordinary leather fabric, given the name “Fab Cuir,” is a truly splendid article which could not have been produced if any of these three conditions was not met: possession of Nishijin’s knowhow regarding Hikibaku, possession of the looms that can be used for Hikibaku, and presence of the skilled weavers who can handle those looms.

Contact

Kano-ko Co.,Ltd.
20 Horinoue-cho, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto
440@kano-ko.com