About Manufacturing process

New values created hand-in-hand with our factory

SIDE SLOPE’s knitwear is produced in several factories where we place our full trust in its technical skills. Our self-owned factory in China has been receiving technical direction from Japan for over 30 years and still uses hand flat knitting machines that can delicately adjust knitting density with human hands. The factory in Nagano prefecture has developed the highly popular pile knitting technique and is still responsible for our pile knit production. The dyeing factories in Kyoto and Gifu prefectures have allowed us to express more complicated patterns using a method to dye the woven products. We constantly exchange opinions with each factory to advance ideas and create new products even with old machines and existing methods. Moreover, we always continue to use the techniques that we once developed. We consider such techniques as valuable assets created together in partnership with the factories. We make full use of these assets and continue to evolve them over time by changing the materials, pattern and colors.

Self-owned factory in China

At the China factory, we use hand flat knitting machines that can delicately adjust knitting density with human hands. By using these hand flat knitting machines, it is possible to create the perfect looseness in the knit or the perfect stich decreases for armholes that cannot be recreated even with the latest automatic knitting machines.

Subcontracted factory in Nagano

The Nagano factory developed pile knitting which is time consuming and labor intensive. Since its launch, the pile knits have become one of the most popular items at SIDE SLOPE. We deliver new designs every season such as border patterns and double structures.

Dyeing factories in Kyoto and Gifu

Product dyeing is a method to fold the product like origami based on the image of how you want the dye to come out. By skillfully combining patterns made by the dye and the patterns in the original knitting, we can create complicated and deep patterns that cannot be seen anywhere else.

Hand flat knitting machines

Hand flat knitting machines

Hand flat knitting machine is short for hand-operated flat knitting machine and the device is manually moved back and forth on a flat-bed. Because the method takes time and effort, it is rarely used anymore in Japan. Side Slope cherishes the warmth and unique taste of how the stiches are arranged and how the fabrics are bulkier when knitted with manual knitting machines. We often adopt the unique marks created by hand knitting machines in our designs such as the fashion marks made by reducing stiches.

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Linking

Linking

Linking is a method of seaming pieces of garment together by connecting loops of yarn after the pieces have been knitted on flat machines. Seams are less conspicuous and blended into the fabric to create a fine finish. Fabrics that are knitted together using the linking technique are highly elastic and better at holding their shape after washing. Moreover, it is possible to match the pattern at the seam to create a high-quality product.

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Hikisoroe/twisted color yarn

Hikisoroe/twisted color yarn

Inserting two or more yarn through a yarn feeder where usually only one yarn is fed is called Hikisoroe(knitting with some yarn together), and a yarn that is twisted with multiple strands of yarn to form a single yarn is called mouline yarn (twisted color yarn). In both cases, since multiple strands of yarn are knitted at the same time, it is possible to create color blends and achieve distinctive color mixes without assembling a pattern.

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Pile knitting

Pile knitting

Pile knitting is a method of knitting in which the yarn is looped out on the surface of the fabric. The fabric will have thickness, fluffiness and a light finish. At Side Slope, we made it possible to use our old knitting machines to perform pile knitting by putting on attachments, and we are continuing to make products with different materials and patterns. We also use premium materials such as cashmere in our pile knitting products to create casual yet luxurious pieces suited for matured adults.

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Origami dyeing

Origami dyeing

Origami dyeing is a dyeing technique unique to Side Slope. Each piece of garment is folded by hand and put in the dye. You need advanced skills and sensitivity to predict the outcome of the final dye because the product is folded before the dyeing. We can also express complicated colors and patterns by performing origami dyeing on garments created with pre-dyed yarn.

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Piece dyeing

Piece dyeing

Piece is a method of applying the dye onto a finished product. By dyeing both the fabric and seams with the same dye at the same time, delicate color differences appear and give the product a unique expression and texture. At Side Slope, we sometimes perform product dyeing on garments created with pre-dyed yarn to achieve a deeper color and pattern. We use various dyeing techniques that match the creative style of the product such as snow dyeing (the dyeing process is halted before the dye penetrates in the fabric), garment space dyeing (the fabric is colored in stripes in various colors), tie-dyeing (binding parts of the fabric to prevent dye from penetrating to create unique patterns).

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Whole garment knitting

Whole garment knitting

Whole garment knitting is a proprietary knitting technology in Japan that allows garments to be knitted three-dimensionally in one piece. Garments made by whole garment knitting machines fits naturally on the skin and creates a smooth and beautiful silhouette. Because there are no seams, there are no discomforts such as stiffness or itching and the garment feels lighter than ordinary knitwear.

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Plating

Plating

Plating is a method to knit two different yarns simultaneously. One yarn will show on the face of the fabric while the other yarn will form a backing. In Japanese, it is also referred to as “Soeito-ami” or “Kurumi-ami”. An example of plating at Side Slope is to use silk on the front for luster and cotton on the back for a nice feel on the skin. It is possible to combine two different colors of yarn of the same material and switch the front and back depending on areas of use to create a product with beautiful bicolor.

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Hand knitting

Hand knitting

Hand knitting can express warmth and gentleness that cannot be achieved by machine knitting. It will also create a nice bulkiness in the patterns. Because the pieces are created one at a time, there is an individuality in each piece that adds to the charm.

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Smooth knitting

Smooth knitting

Smooth knitting is a variation of rib knit construction, and applies the technique of interlock knitting that uses all the needles on a flat-bed knitting machine. Characterized by elasticity and firmness, it creates a tight knit so the garment shape is well maintained and the surface is fine and smooth. Because warm air is trapped in the fabric, it is suited to be worn in winter as underwear. At Side Slope, the fabric is mostly used in the BLUE line which features garments that can be also used for playing sports.

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Raised fabric

Raised fabric

Raising is a process to draw out the fluffy ends on the fibers on the surface of the knitted fabric and yarn. It will add thickness to the knitted fabric and increase its heat retention properties. It also has the effect of blurring the pattern outlines and softening the color. At Side Slope, we often use this technique on our 100% cashmere products for additional softness in the texture.

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Raw edge

Raw edge

Raw edge is a design choice where ribbing or other finishes are not applied on the hems and edges. Because knit fabrics will curl or roll if the edge is raw, it adds a modest loose feeling in the design. We like to add a little playfulness by leaving raw edges on fabrics that have a sense of class and grace.

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