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jstavrin

Loopwheeled/Vintage T-Shirts

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Regarding the Loopwheeler English site, anybody have experience ordering?

What's the sizing like?

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LW has a sizing info section with measurements. But as far as real world exp, I have no idea. In fact, I dont think I have ran across anyone with any LW product, which is weird to me

Edited by garden gnomes in space

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I just ordered a pullover hoodie will post pictures and details once it arrives

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I've got a Merz b. Schwanen knit, too, and I know Merz uses some vintage machinery, but if I understand correctly, none of that is LW.

please clarify, since i do own a Merz b. Schwanen knit as well and from what i understand, it is LW :)

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^^ I bought from their LW store in Tokiyo when I was visiting and I have used proxy since - no problem at all.

My guess is that direct order should work equally smooth...

(I had&have a few LW products.)

Edited by Foxy2

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Regarding the gussets:

I have seen 2 types of underarm gussets/gusset constructions:

- inserted/set-in gusset

- extended gusset as part of the body or sleeve (like on certain Warehouse tees and sweats copied from vintage sweats)

Generally speaking they are meant to allow for improved range of movement when lifting the arms.

The first purpose was not to re-enforce the underarm section of a tee/sweat.

(Keep in mind that a lot of the discussed features and materials originate from an area when fabrics did not stretch and recover as they do today - Spandex, Elastane only came into the picture sometime late 50's.)

In terms of durability I have to point out that certain types/constructins of inserted gussets have darts and pointed ends that require the sewing operator to pivot the goods under the needle of the sewing machine when inserting them - these points, when sewn less accurately, can have the tendency to be less stress bearing and may fray sooner or later.

Thanks for such an informative and detailed post!

please clarify, since i do own a Merz b. Schwanen knit as well and from what i understand, it is LW :)

Keep in mind I don't really know much about determining if something is LW. From what I've read recently, they might be LW, since Merz says it's circular-knit, and that might be the same thing. Really I have no idea, though.

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please clarify, since i do own a Merz b. Schwanen knit as well and from what i understand, it is LW :)

They are certainly not using Japanese made loopwheel machines, but they are using old German machines...

Loopwheel does not translate into German, specifically not into the German technical terms - these are all classified as "Rundstrickmachinen". Other than the exact machine supplier name, the model & needle type only the machine speed gives away if you are looking at a loopwheel type machine.

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They are certainly not using Japanese made loopwheel machines, but they are using old German machines...

Loopwheel does not translate into German, specifically not into the German technical terms - these are all classified as "Rundstrickmachinen". Other than the exact machine supplier name, the model & needle type only the machine speed gives away if you are looking at a loopwheel type machine.

I didn't realize the machines were Japanese-made. For some reason I always assumed it was analogous to selvedge denim, where the Japanese bought up all of the old American machines. Are there any American loop-wheel machines being used by these brands? I'm assuming the RMC t-shirt two-packs are LW'd tees, but they're made in America, so I was wondering if they're getting the material from Japan or knitting it here.

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They are certainly not using Japanese made loopwheel machines, but they are using old German machines...

Loopwheel does not translate into German, specifically not into the German technical terms - these are all classified as "Rundstrickmachinen". Other than the exact machine supplier name, the model & needle type only the machine speed gives away if you are looking at a loopwheel type machine.

i see.... thanks :)

Edited by nachtelijk

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Most of the machines used in Japan are Japan-made.

Initially they were probably copies (like Toyoda bought the licensing rights to produce their power looms before they advanced certain features and registered their own patents) or rip-offs. From what I have seen in pictures of Wakayama prefecture factories these machines appear to be predominantly of Japanese origin.

For circular knitting machines you would have been better advised to copy Euopean machines rather than American ones back in the days...

Also, importing these types of machines into japan has been/is very costly - the machine manufacturers are usually very quick & keen to solve this problem through licensing.

Regarding the RMcC and the 2-pack tee: I know that RMcC has developed one specific tee in collaboration with an American supplier on American machines - I had one of those as a present for my dad. Not sure about the specifics of the 2-pack.

Companies like RMcC or TFH certainly have the means and capabilities these days to buy foreign vintage machines, but from what I've seen in pictures, interviews or conversations with shops & people like LW it is mostly limited to smaller equipment like Union Special (chain stitch hemming) and Flatlock machines. Actually, Japanese copies of these machines are available in the Japanese market (vintage & contemporary) but before mentioned companies are trying to make a point in using the original machine.

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^While your on board whats with the hero worship of Gordon its bordering on the sycophantic and then the polar opposite hatred of Kiya,s endeavours, Im not being malicious whatever123, just interested in how you came to this viewpoint?

I have always had a good experience with them both.

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I think it is just another example of the internet, whilst being a great source of information etc, leading people to behave very poorly. I am assuming that he does not speak to people face to face like he does on here but you know what make assumptions does...

Which is weird because he is obviously quite knowledge.

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i know there is a huge issue of copies and what not in clothing manufacturing (in all parts of the world, including japan), but i always thought the lw machine in the lw factory are not of japanese-origin. are you saying this is not correct, at least as far as the lw factory is concerned. i could care less about stike gold, etc as they just buy what is put in front of them and do not manufacture the fabric.

Do you think that Strike Gold is using inferior fabric, or are you uninterested because it's just "run-of-the-mill" stuff (no pun-intended)? Who else is using LW fabric similar to theirs?

Edited by misterjuiceman

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...

i know there is a huge issue of copies and what not in clothing manufacturing (in all parts of the world, including japan), but i always thought the lw machine in the lw factory are not of japanese-origin. are you saying this is not correct, at least as far as the lw factory is concerned. i could care less about stike gold, etc as they just buy what is put in front of them and do not manufacture the fabric.

If you are referring to the loopwheel on display in the front window of the LoopWheeler shop in Japan I have to say that I didn't bother asking them - it is a museum piece, that's the reason it's on display and not in the factory.

Loopwheel machines have their origin in Europe from where the machines, the technology and the patents spread out into the world. Different countries and companies enhanced the machines and technology, eventually licensing the technology and/or registering their own patents.

So far I have not been able to identify any European or American machine manufacturer in any of the photographs form Japan, none of the interviews or reports I have seen mentions European or American machine suppliers.

I am sure that there is the odd machine from Europe still left in some Japanese museum, similar to the initial power looms that Toyoda bought and imported to Japan before they began licensing the technology and developing their on own power looms.

What sets Japan apart from the rest of the world is that somehow some loopwheel machines survived while for the majority of the world these machines got replaced through more "advanced" & "efficient" machinery.

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All I can add is that I recently bought both a Real McCoy's and Strike Gold sweatshirt from BiG and Self Edge respectively. I love them both, but that Strike Gold fabric is more impressive to me. It's heavier, more dense and warmer. Being that I bought them for wearing under a denim jacket in mid 30s to upper 40s fahrenheit, I'm more satisfied with my Strike Gold. One is not better than the other. They're just different and I love them both. To compare them is to split hairs on a fantastic head.

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I just want to know how one can tell loopwheel from non-loopwheel fabric from a picture. Seems like the typical bullshit campaign to me.

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We are talking about identifying the machines, at least I was...

Gimme a machine manufacturer name, a model number or a year and we can try to do some research.

Without facts it's just another myth like "Cone Looms" in Japan (looms used previously by Cone, bought and imported to Japan) or lost in translation...

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I didn't realize the machines were Japanese-made. For some reason I always assumed it was analogous to selvedge denim, where the Japanese bought up all of the old American machines. Are there any American loop-wheel machines being used by these brands? I'm assuming the RMC t-shirt two-packs are LW'd tees, but they're made in America, so I was wondering if they're getting the material from Japan or knitting it here.

I don't think the RealMcCoy's 2 pack tees are loopwheeled. But don't quote me on that. Gordon from BiG told me that the sweats (with the hoodie no zip, to be more specific) aren't loopwheeled. It's some special weave they only they have. So if that's an indicator of anything. Also, weren't those tee's supposed to be a champion replica? Or were those some other special edition t-shirts?

Anyways, since someone said something about loopwheeler, I have one of their Loopwheeler X Nike zip up hoodies. It's nice. I think it's made with their lightweight material. As far as sizing goes, it's a lot different, since they probably made it to nike's sporting standards.

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Here you go...

The 1920's looms LOOPWHEELER is using, are a very long way from home, Germany, to be exact. Do you have any idea how these found their way all the way to Japan?

According to a specialized textbook from Wakayama, the loopwheel was first brought to Japan around 1890 during the middle of the Meiji era. At the time it was called a Switzer, with most being made in Switzerland or Germany. In the Taisho and Showa era, these machines were slowly replaced with Japanese-made counterparts. Today, only the Japanese machines remain in existence. However, another theory asserts that the machines came to Japan aboard ships from Holland in the last years of the Edo period. So, the historical account remains divided. If a machine breaks, usually a craftsman will repair and adjust it. The sewing needles in the machines are exclusively from the German company Groz-Beckert. In addition, we carefully keep additional non-functioning loopwheel machines on hand to use for replacement parts.

Source:

http://thesavile.com/JANUARY-2011/11/keeping-pace

Still no name of the Japanese machine manufacturers!

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Ok. You guys arouse my interest. I think I’ll try to get hold of some Loopwheeler stuff although many is already sold out. Is it possible to get on a pre-order list?

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Most of what they do is collaborations and therefore not available on their own website/web store.

If you check out their regular website you get to see most of the projects they are working on and sometimes they give you am idea about the prices.

I just placed my first order with their new international web store - did use proxy in the past or showed up in the store in Tokyo...

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Some more background info:

According to LoopWheeler there are still 2 factories left in Wakayama using LW machines. Any other japanese manufacturer is supposedly not using "LW" machines. The one factory that LoopWheeler collaborates with has about 100 operational machines and about another 100 in stock for spare parts.

In the above mentioned interview they mention the German origin of the Loopwheel machine itself -my guess is that they refer to Mayer & Cie. as the German manufacturer of the first "modern" industrial loopwheel machine in 1906. Mayer continued producing these machines at least until 1939.

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I just googled both German manufacturers you named and it's interesting that they both come from the same German city (Albstadt). And it's also the home town of Merz b. Schwanen.

So you can say Albstadt (near Stuttgart) is kinda the German counterpart to Okayama ;)

edit: you beat me to it ;)

Edited by beautiful_FrEaK

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b_f, it's Wakayama :)

that aside i am also interested in the fact that there may be loopwheel fabric manufactured outside of Japan and Germany. since it was posted in the Tender Co. thread that the fabric for their loopwheel t-shirts are from England.

perhaps William could shed some light in regards to this as well

Edited by nachtelijk

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I don't think the RealMcCoy's 2 pack tees are loopwheeled. But don't quote me on that. Gordon from BiG told me that the sweats (with the hoodie no zip, to be more specific) aren't loopwheeled. It's some special weave they only they have. So if that's an indicator of anything. Also, weren't those tee's supposed to be a champion replica? Or were those some other special edition t-shirts?

Anyways, since someone said something about loopwheeler, I have one of their Loopwheeler X Nike zip up hoodies. It's nice. I think it's made with their lightweight material. As far as sizing goes, it's a lot different, since they probably made it to nike's sporting standards.

Wait, so just the non-zip hoodie isn't loop-wheeled? I thought it was the same as the zip-hoodie and the standard sweats, which are both loop-wheeled right? Also, the two-pack shirts aren't champion replicas as far as I know; that's a different, and more expensive, shirt.

Edited by misterjuiceman

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tell you what, i will find out about the machines and report back! i have my ways!!!

Please do. Lots of big (no pun intended) talk so far but most of your arguments have simply been to rubbish others than to come up with something substantial. I am genuinely interested in this subject so am also interested in what you come up with.

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and from Germany itself: http://www.merz-schwanen.com/en/manufacturing/

http://www.merz-schwanen.com/en/gallery/

perhaps i may be sadly mistaken but those are loopwheel machines, no? :)

Merz b. Schwanen is clearly labelling them as Rundstrickmaschienen from the late 1920s as well as 1950's - I am sure Peter has done his homework in order to not mislabel them Loopwheel if he knows better.

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Double post

Edited by Foxy2

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