Loop & Weft have a simple creed/slogan. It is simply, "Best Knitwear". Bold statement in an over saturated market of perfectly produced 'Made in Japan' knitwear and outerwear. But this was the piece that reminded us why Loop & Weft are so confident with their production. They really epitomize the Best Knitwear that is still Made in Japan.
The knitting technique of this garment is called weft knitting, a machine based knitting that only allows for the construction of one piece at a time.
What sets this construction method apart though is the use of a dial linking machine to attach the arms to the torso. Rather than trim the knit to allow for a common construction method, the torso of this sweater is attached to the arms at the seam as they are sewn together. This latter method of linking allows for zero waste as there is no need for trimming - it is much more tedious and time consuming though (with only a couple factories that can still manage this method in Japan), hence this construction method is rarely seen.
Loop & Weft chose to apply this production tactic not only because it minimizes waste, but more so because the finished garment has superior comfort at the seams (minimal friction) and has a much cleaner seam alignment finish.
Let's begin by putting the following statistics into perspective. Only 1.9% of the entire local market share of Merino wool sweaters are actually entirely Made in Japan. So the production of this sweater as a finished garment has already beaten the odds.
Beyond that, these sweaters are entirely produced by a 70 year old sewing professional that has decades of experience with the linking construction machines to produce knitwear.
The production capacity of this garment is extremely limited, as there are only a few shokunin (artisans) and factories still capable of producing this level of knitwear in Japan.