When we think about the Japanese manufacturing industry we usually think of hi-tech companies such as Sony, Nintendo or Toyota, which is known for its hybrid cars. However, the fibre industry, which might appear to be a “personal touch” industry at first glance, has a long history behind it and there are chemical fibres that can only be produced in Japan. Artisanal skills such as yarn processing, weaving, knitting and dyeing are also used to create special textiles. Such unique Japanese materials continue to enchant designers from Europe and America.


The only “semi-synthetic fibre” in the world


MITSUBISHI RAYON TEXTILE Co., Ltd.’s “Soalon” is the only cellulose triacetate fibre produced in the world. Soalon is a natural material made from natural pulp; however, it is described as a “semi-synthetic fibre” as it has undergone chemical processes.

As the name suggests, this gives it properties that combine the benefits of both natural and synthetic fibres. With its silk-like lustre, beautiful drape, soft texture and superb colour performance, it can also undergo pleat processing through heat setting. It is also easy to care for and can be washed at home.



Soalon has both an elegant lustre and beautiful drape. Soalontis, made with 100% soalon, is also offered as a thick coat fabric.


MITSUBISHI RAYON TEXTILE Co., Ltd. has harnessed yarn-processing technology, as well as weaving and knitting technologies, to create a special composite yarn made from Soalon that can be used to develop materials with various characteristics.

“Selately” is a popular material that has won the support of influential brands from across the world, and has a powdery touch as well as placing a focus on drape. The combination of Soalon and highly crimped polyester yarn creates a stretchiness that makes it as comfortable as knitwear.

Although the company previously created fibres that offered firmness and tension through bonding and other processes, the growing interest in natural drape has propelled the company towards creating textiles that exclusively focus on drape.

Soalon has an elegant lustre, as well as the quick-drying properties that rayon lacks. A wide variety of fabrics are available, from thin to heavyweight. However, as a result of the growing range of apparel with an emphasis on drape, such as blouses, woven fabrics such as crepe weave, plain double weave and warp-backed weave have become popular options.

“Soalontis” is a 100% Soalon material and is drawing quite a lot of attention – particularly in the European market – as a material that has fully utilised the unique quality of Soalon.

In addition to thin materials that can be used for dresses, for example, there is also emerging demand for Soalontis for use in coat-making, such as with thick twill. It is not used as a conventional casual material as cotton would be, but rather has widespread applications due to its ability to express Soalon’s elegant lustre and drape.


Cupro, characterised by its elegant lustre and comfort



Cupro, developed by Asahi Kasei Fibers Corporation, is produced only in Japan. It is a natural material with cotton wool as its raw material, and exudes a silk-like lustre.

“Cupro,” developed by Asahi Kasei Fibers Corporation, is the only fibre of its kind in the world. Although it is categorised as recyclable cellulose fibre originating from plants, like viscose rayon, its raw material is the vellus (cotton wool) found around the seeds of the cotton flower. Hence, it is finer than normal rayon and characterised by an elegant, silk-like lustre. It also has properties that enhance comfort, such as a soft texture and moisture absorbency.

Although it was originally established for use as luxury lining, recently it has also been used for various apparel products. It has a wide range of applications, including innerwear that fully embraces its smooth texture and moisture absorbency; jersey using short fibres; and knitted fabrics or sand-washed materials for outerwear. Its use as a comfortable and elegant material – unlike cotton and rayon – is becoming increasingly widespread.