Blankets 1998

  1. The central location for blanket manufacturing in Japan is in the Senshu district of Osaka. Yukimura Sanada, a heroic warrior from the Osaka Summer War, is known as the creator of the 'Sanada Weave' technology. The source of blanket technology in Japan seems to be born from merging the 'Sanada Weave' and cotton weaving, which has long been handed down in Senshu.

  2. In 1885, the cow hair blanket, which was the first blanket in Japan, was woven in Senshu. At that time, in order to catch up with the soft touch and warmth of the imported blanket know as 'red-ket', various technological reforms and quality improvements were examined. The goodness or badness of the blanket was based on hand nap raising technology, but an even nap raising was accomplished which gave birth to the rotary type nap raising machine and an even more motive-power nap raising machine was developed.

  3. The cotton blanket that was developed after the cow hair blanket was an hit product, and the Osaka blanket industry became famous. The cotton blanket boom continued through late 1800s to early 1900s periods, and the production quantity in 1917 was ten times that of the previous year, reaching 1.55 million blankets.

  4. When wool blanket production started and their production quantity exceeded 75% across the country, it made so much progress that a societal division of labor organization, in other words a spinning, weaving, and nap raising process, was divided. This has lead to rationality and efficiency for production, then the ability to compete advanced and when the national market share exceeded 90%, production took root in the Osaka district.

  5. Blankets are classified into bedding (75%) and application blankets (25% ; electric blankets, lap blankets, etc.). The blanket's raw materials : cotton, wool, and synthetic fibers make up cotton blankets, Tuft blankets, and Mayer blankets. The warm, light-weight Tuft blanket is a thread that is transplanted into a cloth that brings out a nap raised tone. The Mayer blanket uses acrylic fiber as its raw material and is a high-class fine thread knit which typically has long ends and is soft to the touch. The majority of bedding blankets consist of Mayer blankets.

  6. In 1996, the number of production companies in the Senshu district was 316 (half that of 1987), workers totaled 4,143 (down 30% from 1987), production quantity was 18.4 million blankets, and with production monetary total of \57.7 billion, it covered 98% of the domestic share. The breakdown is as follows : woven blankets, 3,840,000 ; Tuft blankets, 285,000 ; and Mayer blankets, 8,023,000.

  7. Export totals for 1996 were \770 million yen with destinations to Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, Holland, Italy, Honduras, South Korea, Singapore, Indonesia and others, with a large number heading towards Taiwan. Exports of synthetic fiber blankets was 87%. Electric blanket exports from Taiwan heading for Belgium totaled almost 6.5 million yen. Export totals did not exceed 1.3% of total production moneys.

  8. Total imports for 1996 were almost 9,140 million yen and was overwhelmingly from China. Synthetic fiber blankets occupy 45% of the imports and were imported from number one China followed by Taiwan, Portugal, Indonesia, nd the U.S.A.. Cotton blankets are imported from places such as China, the U.S.A., Taiwan, and Thailand, while wool blankets are imported from the U.K., Germany, Italy, Rumania, and Lithuania. Import totals reached almost 16% of total production moneys. From four or five years ago, a large quantity of blankets started being imported from China, apanese made machinery was imported, the number of craftsmen rose, and quality began to rise slowly. With the effect of the Chinese-made low-priced imports, domestic prices were also lowered. A total of 2.34 million yen worth of electric blankets were imported from the U.S.A. and the U.K.

  9. Only three makers in Senshu advanced into China and they are working jointly, but there is no reimporting to Japan at present and products are being sold within China. The advancing overseas by Japanese makers is difficult because they are financially very small companies with a small number of workers.

  10. Small and medium sized trading companies in Japan are making direct imports from China and selling to wholesale stores or directly to large-scale and department stores. Those imports were not seen very much at the department and large-scale stores. There is a high possibility that those imports are accumulated in a warehouse and are not being sold.

  11. European and American brands are produced in Japan under license agreements. Those are sold as gifts and in catalog shopping.

  12. The distribution process is classified into the following five broad categories, but wholesale stores will be left out in the future and direct routes to small stores, department stores, and large-scale stores will increase.
    maker primary wholesale store secondary wholesale store retail store
    b. maker distributing wholesale store large-scale and department stores
    c. maker large-scale store
    d. import trading company wholesale store retail store
    e. import trading company large-scale store department store

  13. The woven cloth is delivered to a positive electric maker, and that maker finishes the product as the electric blanket. The electric blanket and down quilt are powerful enemies of the blanket.

  14. Each maker has PL insurance, however there have been no accidents to date.

  15. Blankets have been endured consumer products for almost ten years, and in an already saturated market, we cannot expect growth in the future. In comparison to other businesses, the successor problem does not look so serious. There are good, young successors and positive moves can be seen in proceeding computer data management in order to succeed skilled technology, and also in researching trends in the foreign fiber market.

  16. The first point in selling a blanket is design, second is quality, and third is price.

  17. The methods for survival in the future depend on improving technological ability, striving for discrimination in aiming for high quality products, producing products with superior sensitivity, and how to adopt consumer-likes. Preventing static electricity and antibacterial processing is just one of the methods, and how to add functionality becomes a key.

  18. Since the living environment recently has changed with the development of the air conditioner, the blanket is not only to be used for warmth. Light-weight cotton made blankets continue to rise and are becoming a lot less of a seasonal item.

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