Wouldn't it be nice to be able to use a sofa that you treasure forever?
A good sofa needs to be sturdy. This in turn is decided by the materials used in its frame and cushions. Using tried and proven materials to make a sofa is the key to creating a lasting product.
But above that the sofa needs to evoke a sense of attachment - a sense of growing fonder of it the longer it forms part of your home. This is the core that we apply when creating our sofas.
For this to be possible, the sofas need to be made with an evergreen design and materials which age gracefully.
Sofa design trends change and there are many models which will look odd ten years from now. We do not chase trends because we want to make sofas that last - our designs are meant to be appreciated no matter what the current trend is.
Our materials are also chosen to age gracefully. Vinyl leather for example, is a convenient material to use. However as it gets damaged it loses much of its charm. On the other hand, properly oiled wood may get discolored due to water stains, but those imperfections add to its story and its flavor. We only choose materials which will gain character through the years and decades of use.
Sofas which can be your companions as the years go by. We want to enrich your lives by providing sofas worthy of this.
What does it mean to have richness in one's life?
We believe that for people to lead rich lives, they must have a place of respite in their homes. This too can include the simple fact of having a comfortable, textured sofa to lay on when coming home.
A welcoming sofa can be like a fireplace in your home - drawing both friends and family to gather around it to exchange experiences and deepen ties.
Our motivation, and the pride and enjoyment that we have in our work, is to create sofas that can do this, and become a comforting constant in your home.
The quality of our sofas is a fruit of the trust that we have built - with not only our customers, but with our suppliers and employees.
We do our best to fulfill our customers' needs - including flexibly customizing our sofas' sizes, colors, textures and design. Feel free to tell us what you imagine for your ideal sofa.
We are always listening to our customers and constantly changing to accomodate shifts in peoples' lifestyles. We are committed to continually improving our sofas through constantly experimenting with new materials and production techniques.
We start with examining our designs' intended audience, material strength, texture etc. and transforming them into product specifications and diagrams.
The weight and spring supporting parts of our sofa frames are made of solid wood. The other parts are made instead with plywood. This gives our sofas the sturdiness they have for long-term use.
We assemble the frame after processing the wood - ie. carving, shaving and removing corners. Our attention to detail in this process is what gives our sofas their fine finish.
We proceed by then placing the springs. The appropriate application of springs is essential to a comfortable sofa. We therefore place a combination of S-Springs, pocket coils and upholstery webbing where they will add the most comfort.
The next step is placing the urethane foam on top of the springs. This layer is not visible but is extremely important as it decides not only the shape of the sofa, but also how hard or soft it is.
We then cut the fabrics to the shapes and sizes as indicated in our specifications. Each fabric type has a different elasticity and we pay attention to this as we shape each piece of cloth.
Each piece of leather is hand-cut. Our craftsmen take care to form the necessary shapes while avoiding unnecessary flaws of the original cow leather.
Each of our craftsmen is well equipped to both judge and cut the best parts of the hide to use.
The process of joining the cloth and leather together to create the exterior of the sofa. As we sew the two together, we add in small details such as stitches that add depth to the overall finish of the product.
It takes skill to sew flexible materials straight. We have the experience to handle this and the other work that goes into the complexity in the exteriors of our sofas.
Placing the exterior on the prepared frame.
The materials used in the exterior can differ in terms of elasticity and how rigid they are, even between individual pieces. Our craftsmen are aware of these variations and work around them to make a consistent finish.
This step involves hammering materials to shape them, sewing the corners etc. - all the hands of our experienced craftsmen with their painstaking attention in making the perfect sofa for you.
Experience: 7 years.
The wood frames of sofas may look simple - but they actually are a complex combination of parts called "stalks", "joists" etc. Tetsuma is in-charge of processing, cutting and assembling the wood. On the factory floor he confidently handles the large wooden fames and describes his work as a daily process of improving himself.
Experience: 4 years. Yuto moulds the urethane to the curves of the sofa's corners - ensuring that our sofas offer maximum comfort. He bends, wraps and adjusts the foam, skillfully avoiding configurations that would impede other production or cause faults. He even takes effort to suggest how to attach the urethane when we develop new sofa models.
Experience: 13 years.
Takayuki is key to our operations as he responsible for deciding the quantity we produce and for sourcing necessary materials. He is also well versed in the processes surrounding the frame attachments and exterior finish. His motto: "Never say never."
Experience: 26 years
Holds the highest possible national certification for Chair Exterior Craftsman. Each day he thinks about how he can improve on yesterday's work and stoically, but skillfully, works to add the finishing touches to the exterior of each sofa.
Experience: 6 years
Mizue only needs 3 hours and a scissors to fully cut the leather needed for one full sofa. She uses her sharp eye to discern which parts of leather may be concealing hidden flaws. To her, each hide is a puzzle she needs to solve to form the pieces for a perfect sofa.
Experience: 2 Years.
Kaori deals with dozens of fabrics each day - examining and touching each piece to discern the small differences in elasticity that each piece has. She then adjusts the cutting machine to account for these small differences. She also puts daily effort to learn about the other processes in the factory.
Experience: 5 years.
It wouldn't be an exaggeration that at least half of a sofa's look is decided by its patterner's skill. Tatsuya is strict not only on the sofa patterns he makes but also his own personal style. He says that his number one enjoyment is life is when he fully focuses on creating a fitting design for the sofas.
Experience: 28 years. Sofa sewing is not easy since each sofa requires a different combination of materials. Kaori applies different techniques and tools to each situation, accounting for the thickness and patterns of the materials. She smiles while working - thinking of the thanks that past customers have given for her work.
Experience: 5 years.
Keiko is our voice on the phone for customers - and takes care to ensure that each customer feels KOKOROISHI's sincerity. Sometimes she has to deal with many queries at once, but she takes this as both a challenge and a chance to fulfill the trust that customers put in us.
The company behind the smooth and flexible oil leather in our sofas.
Leather is a complex problem - one can only see the leather quality after removing the hide's fur. Only 20% of hides qualify as "quality leather" at this stage. In addition, out of these, only a minority can be used for oil leather or tanning. The leathers that we use are only around 2-3 pieces per 100 - with marks that make each piece unique, and strong enough such that only light processing is needed.
Springs decide how a sofa feels when someone sits on it. This is also why we pay so much attention to ensure that the springs we use are at just the correct rigidity.
The springs we receive are made in Japan, with a high carbon content and with a consistent composition. Our supplier's production involves smelting in a specialized furnace that keeps a constant temperature and a gradual, natural cooling process. Quality springs for quality sofas.
There are actually more than 100 types of Urethane foam. For example, Chip Urethane is one of our preferred materials given its cushioning and low ecological impact.
Each of our sofas requires a different configuration. Therefore, these types of urethane need to be correctly selected, layered and shaped to make the foam in our sofas. The foams that we select have a high elasticity ratio and while providing a great cushion they are also made to last.
INOAC holds world-class technology and 40% of the Japan market for synthesizing. Different synthesizing conditions can lead to urethane varieties which differ in elasticity, durability and flexibility. Urethane is formed through mixing polyol and isocyanate - the mixture will bubble into urethane foam. However, careful handling is needed in taking to account the ambient temperature and humidity of the conditions and in ensuring that the urethane produced is uniform.
The sewing machines we use are like our family. Kohno Mishin Shokai has been supporting us with maintaining the machines for 15 years. Our sewing machines are industrial grade sewing machines made for thick materials. We use Japanese made JUKI machines due to their unparalleled stability and power.
When we sew, we also maintain a fine balance between the needles and the strings we use to ensure that the sewing is stable while ensuring that holes are small.
SINCOL handles deftly all aspects of fabric work for us, including spinning, dying, weaving and the final processing.
Fabrics too are a difficult subject. Natural materials like cotton and wool are soft and because they absorb moisture. This is what makes them cool in summer and warm in winter. Synthetic fabrics do not have this advantage but are stronger. We mix different fabrics, drawing from the strength of each to bring you the best combination and the best sofas possible.
Aratani performs maintenance on the indispensable tools of our trade. The tools that require the most maintenance are our tackers - which are necessary in the carpentry, and setting both the interiors and exteriors of a sofa. Tackers use pneumatic pressure to hammer nails and we need to constantly maintain them to ensure that pressure is adequate while not being too strong. Our tools are like our hands and we constantly maintain them to ensure that we keep the precision in our work.
At the beginning, Kondo Mokuzai dealt with the wood for geta (traditional Japanese sandals) and heels but now now deal more with furniture wood.
We use Japanese beech (Fagus Crenata) wood provided from them which is a proven material for furniture used from long ago. The wood they provide is PEFC certified wood from Pollmeier, a German company, committed to sustainable forestry through growing their own wood trees. Sustainable wood for a durable sofa frame - that is what we use.
KOEISANGYO produces the visible wood parts of our sofas - such as the "elbows" and legs. They carefully make each piece from North American walnut wood through applying their Rocking Cutting technique. Once the wood arrives at their factory, they place it in a dryer to make it better fit the Japanese climate. This also evens out possible curves in the wood. They then saw and combine the wood pieces. Their accuracy is to the milimeter, which is why each piece fits exactly which each other.
Kashimoto Kenmen commits to making comfortable cushioning which best brings out the quality of the cotton and feathers they use. The feathering used are duck small feathers - which have very small spines. Kashimoto Kenmen applies their skills to make cushioning where the feathers do not protrude at all, and which is resistant to deforming. Due to this, people sitting on the sofas feel only of the softness and comfort of the feathers use.
Our sofas are sent from Hiroshima to the whole of Japan. EFCO Alright provides the protective cardboard it gets sent in. The cardboard we use is a double layered cardboard with both a 3mm and 5mm layer. The glue is also applied at a fixed temperature to ensure maximum strength. All this goes into ensuring that our sofas are delivered in perfect shape to our beloved customers.