Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Buaisou – for those unfamiliar, the best way to find out more is through the website and Instagram. There are some great shots of both their process and products on their Instagram.

To get the thread started, this is what they say about themselves…

“To thrive in the hometown of indigo dye, BUAISOU was established in Kamiita-cho, Tokushima Prefecture in 2015.

All processes, which were traditionally divided into separate specializations, are carried out within BUAISOU; from cultivating the raw indigo, fermenting the indigo leaves (Sukumo), dyeing, designing, all the way to production. We also make efforts in introducing the charm of natural indigo through offering workshops and other various activities. Indigo dyeing is characterized by deep beautiful color and fastness. This is achieved using only indigo leaves, lye, bran, and shell lime.

In 2018, we were able to realize our original dream of making indigo-dyed jeans, with each skein of yarn hand-dyed one by one. In the future, our goal is to grow and weave cotton and manufacture jeans using vintage sewing machines”.

I notice that the last part – “and manufacture jeans using vintage sewing machines” - was appended after May 2022.  They acquired Roy’s old sewing machines which is likely to have enabled this change in ambition.  Roy himself paid them a visit in Q1 2023 and in this post he watched them “dyeing skeins of ring-spun cotton yarn that will soon be driven over to the nearby mill, and woven into the most beautiful denim I've ever seen”.  So, the journey has started but there is some way to go…

I can’t see this thread being the most active for different reasons.  However, I know there are a few Sufu regulars with items and interest… so let’s give it a whirl and see what we can collectively muster...

Link to comment
Share on other sites


I’m an indigo dyer and farmer. My hands and arms are immersed in an indigo dye every day. This G-Shock was white originally. My friend who was doing a Casio promotion gave it to me and was curious to see what would happen if it was repeatedly submerged in the dye. It’s a strong watch, and waterproof. After two years, it had turned this amazing indigo color. Much better than the original!

Several G-Shock owners noticed my watch and sent me their watches to be dyed, so we made a few customer examples, too.

As I explained to them, if you wash the watch in enough clear water, the dye will come out of the plastic and it will be white again.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I also have the T-shirt 1 in dark indigo. It's lovely, but I now think the mid-indigo dye job might be more interesting. I also have one of their bandana, which is interesting, but some they've made for other brands are even nicer: https://www.buaisou-i.com/bandana

They have a cool service where they will dye for the customer, on a per weight basis. I would do that if I had the network in Japan to organize this.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Yeah JD... good point... that's the date plus a few more specific batch details

Buaisou give this example on their website

e.g. 20171125B21.3
20171125(date) B(vat no.) 21(the age of the vat : days) 3(dip no.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

40 yen per gram for "regular" shades of indigo, +10JPY for the darkest option, see here: https://www.buaisou-i.com/indigodyeservice

I just received the bill, which is JPY39,240 for 3 shirts (incl. 1 long sleeve in extra dark), and that includes the shipping back to the US. I think it's only worth it (if at all) for good quality new items, IMHO.

Edited by JDelage
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Buaisou 16oz ‘heavyweight’ loopwheeled sweatshirt in dark indigo

Lovely garment, beautiful colour in hand, robust construction

It’s short and boxy with a reasonably wide neck.  In fact, shorter than I expected… I wasn’t sure if it was too short, but after some wear I’m good with it (others wouldn't be, so it'd be worth getting the actual measurements of the item if you plan to buy one).  It fits nicely length-wise under denim jackets.

I enquired if there’d be further shrinkage…. Kyoko at Buaisou told me ‘the fabric has been repeatedly post-processed (rinse in the cold water, soak in hot water) and finished with Gojiru (soybean powder solution), so it is a little stiff and most likely shrunken’. 

Measurements were the same after washing at 30C with a line dry as before... so Kyoko's statement holds true

For an L this came in as (in cm) P2P 60, Shoulders 58, Arms 56, Length 60.5 (as opposed to 63 advertised) i.e. almost a perfect square

You’ll notice from the measurements it has a drop shoulder and consequently shorter arms

I’ll post some fit pics later so you can throw tomatoes at it

20230730 Buaisou Sweatshirt 1.JPG

20230730 Buaisou Sweatshirt 2.JPG

20230730 Buaisou Sweatshirt 3.JPG

20230730 Buaisou Sweatshirt 5.JPG

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

@MJF9 I mean - sure. I'm not too tough on my tops. It's a nice cotton thermal but it doesn't seem too remarkable in terms of how tough it feels. I've had no issues with it though and have worn it quite a bit. To my mind the primary value is still in the natural indigo dyeing though. 

Most of my knits these days I get from Jackman - now that stuff is robust (and more moderately priced, though still not cheap). 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here are my 3 shirts back, two from Arpenteur and one Warehouse. All were white initially. The Arpenteur shirts didn’t take the dye very well. The Warehouse is a #2 dye job, and the Arpenteur are #3 & #4. The shirt on the right should be near black. Maybe it’s something to do with the Rachel weave? I’m looking forward to seeing how they evolve. The color is very uniform, quite flat right now, which makes sense for a garment dyed item.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, Maynard Friedman said:

^That looks pretty underwhelming. It seems like you could’ve put them in the washing machine with a £3 dye from the supermarket and achieved a similar result.

underwhelming in what sense?

natural dyes react differently with different fabrics - I'm not sure I'd think of anything I sent them as anything other than experiment. It's different if it's a fabric they work with and have a specific process for I'd say, but sending them something they don't work with, a lot is out of their control. 

fwiw - i think they look nice and would be pretty happy with this experiment. Idk what you paid but given the other stuff they sell I doubt they'd send out something they thought was bad, at least not without some explanation. I could be wrong. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Underwhelming in the sense that it was very expensive and doesn’t look particularly good (in my opinion anyway) and similar results might have been achieved at less expense.

The fact that it’s out of their control doesn’t change anything in terms of end result. They may have done the best they could but it still doesn’t mean it looks particularly good. I prefer darker indigo dyes but perhaps some people like the lighter look.

If you read the original post (it’s only a few above this) you’ll see that the dye job cost almost ¥40k - for 3 t-shirts! You could buy 3 indigo dyed t-shirts for less than that.

EDIT: it’s not a criticism of JDelage - he experimented and shared the results with us so hats off to him for that.

Edited by Maynard Friedman
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good to see the experiment - thanks JD for sharing - and interested to see how it plays out when they're worn. 

I like them.  I also expect it's not possible to capture the colour accurately on here.  Definitely not cheap though. 

@JDelage it would be interesting to get Buaisou's input on how well they think the dye took and what the issues were, given your question / comment.  They seem to respond well to email.  

Would be interesting to see how their jeans dyeing compares to the pair Bill shared on the Tender thread.  

Do you fancy sending any of your old jeans off for an experiment then @Maynard Friedman:P

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've been in touch with both Buaisou and Arpenteur about those 2 shirts. Right now, it's a mystery, because the threads were confirmed to be 100% cotton. Arpenteur says the cotton is dyed white, which I suppose is completely normal. I don't get the feeling they have intricate knowledge of every step of the production. There's no mention anywhere of the cotton provenance, number of twists, etc. So it's possible the fabric undergoes some form of treatment somewhere in the process that Arpenteur's not aware of. They have done some trials on vegetal dyes (but not indigo) that were satisfactory. The long sleeve shirt I've had for over 2 years and it has been washed multiple times, including at least one time warm.

With perfect hind sight I obviously wouldn't send the Arpenteur shirts. The result isn't unappealing, but it makes no sense to pay for 10+ dips and get a medium shade.

With this said, the shirts are garment dyed, so they cannot display the kind of dynamic coloring you see in a PBJ tee. We'll see how they evolve over time and whether the very complicated Buaisou process pays dividends later. The Warehouse shirt looks great IMHO, thanks to its texture. The other two lack character at this point. There's definitely a different hue to some other garment-dyed items I've had. The blue has a dusty feel to it.

Would I repeat the experience? Maybe, especially to get a lighter shade of indigo. That would be fun on a super lightweight pair of summer pants. I would happily do it myself, but to do it well requires a large container and a lot of solution. I've done a few pieces in a 5 gallon bucket, and it was impossible to get a consistent color.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@JDelage thanks for your honest and detailed appraisal and apologies if my post seemed a little harsh (it probably did), that’s more to do with my expectation of end result and depth of colour for the price, considering the knowledge, etc that the dyers have. However, you’re right that the t-shirt production creates an unknown variable so they can only work with what they have. I wonder if some fabrics max out after a certain number of dips, so after that it may be pointless in doing more - so many unknowns.

Thanks again for taking the chance and sharing and post some updates. I have quite a few indigo-dyed t-shirts I need to photograph and post.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Buaisous aprons are worthy of a highlight... 

My buaisou dark dye apron - purchased december of 2022

I am a professional cook/chef and use mine daily, it has nearly same color as when i got it, despite being abused in a professional kitchen and handwashed plenty. 
The durability of the apron has surprised me, with very few loose stitches despite being used 80hrs a week at times. The dye retention is much more than expected, although it has faded slightly, especially around the waist where i lean against tables, cutting boards, and where the waist tie lays, but it is very much vibrant, regardless. attached is a photo from last week, as one can see, it is very dark and beautiful.
I think it goes without saying their products are worth the pretty penny, but what im curious about are their atelier coats.... 

Does anyone own the atelier coat?



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...