FROM CONTEST TO MARKET

A string of beautiful days…

<2015 Merit Award>

A calendar where numbers are sewn with a single thread. When you pull the thread the numbers gradually unravel and disappear. By pulling the thread little by little at the end of each day, this calendar enables you to collect your thoughts about each day when time passes so fleetingly.

  • A string of beautiful days…
  • A string of beautiful days…
  • A string of beautiful days…
  • A string of beautiful days…

Introduction video about products : https://youtu.be/NCDQdQDj994 (YouTube)


*Only available for purchase in Japan.



FROM CONTEST TO MARKET

The situation in the final review.

The situation in the final review.


KOKUYO DESIGN AWARD 2015 invited submission of works on the theme “Beautiful Lifestyle”. “A string of beautiful days” that won the Merit Award was a highly evaluated novel idea for a calendar that expresses the uniquely Japanese sensibility of “flowers are beautiful because the petals scatter” and gradually erases the number as the thread is pulled out.



The model submitted at the final review was hand-sewn by the creator, Mio Ueda, with the help of her classmates. At the time of the presentation sheet in the primary selection even the judges who only half-believed that the product could actually be realized were surprised when they saw the prototype in the final review and how smoothly the thread unraveled. The way that everyone became absorbed in unravelling the thread was impressive .


儚く美しく

(Left) Although the straight lines could be expressed, the numbers could not.
(Right) When soaked in water it becomes soggy or tears.

And when turning it into a product, an important point was if it was possible to mechanize the process that had been achieved by hand-sewing. Firstly, the initial aspect studied was eliminating the upper thread or lower thread by some means or other after sewing, so as to be able to unravel the thread. We studied a method of pinching the upper thread and pulling it out and a method of using water soluble thread as the lower thread and then immersing it in water to dissolve the lower thread, but it did not go well.


After that, we sought advice and went to Kiryu City in Gunma Prefecture where sewing has been a thriving business. Whilst visiting the embroidery factories we came across “loop embroidery” which is sewing with only the upper thread. It appears to be a method often used to express a solid fluffy feel to embroidery for items such as emblems.


We were surprised when we saw the prototype for the first time! When unravelling the thread, the numbers disappeared rather smoothly. It was the first time that the embroidery factory that we asked was given such a request and they laughed as they told us, “We have been asked before to sew carefully so that the thread does not unravel, but this was the first time we have been asked to make it so that the thread unravels.”



儚く美しく

The feeling when we pulled out the thread from the prototype was exactly what we had wanted.

儚く美しく

The delicacy of the shade of color that changes every two months and the design of the numbers written in one stroke are details that Mio Ueda was particular about.

On the other hand, we worked together with the creator, Mio Ueda, to study the important point of the design that was to give the feeling of “transience”.
As it is sewn whilst looping back the numbers represented by one stroke, it is inevitable that it will be sewn thickly. Since the sewing in the first prototype was strong, we carefully selected the color and thickness of the thread to be used along with the balance of the design and the aspects of quality.
Also, halfway through the production we noticed that the thread on the back side of the embroidery was thin and delicate. So, by reversing the design and sewing it that way, we used the part that was originally intended as the back side, as the front.

The concept of “A string of beautiful days” is lovely but many people were worried about how to go about actually achieving it. But finally we were able to actualize it by incorporating some ideas into conventional sewing methods.
What do you all think at the end of the day while you are unraveling the thread and erasing the numbers? We think that this is a time in your everyday life when you can quietly enjoy the lingering memories of what you did each day.