日本のステテコは快適

[:ja][2015年7月号掲載記事]

201507-1-1

株式会社アズのステテコ


2011年頃から夏になると男女を問わずステテコを愛用する人が増えています。元々はズボンの下にはく男性用肌着として明治時代(19~20世紀)に誕生したものです。「綿クレープ」という細かくひだのよった生地が汗をよく吸いとるので特に暑い時期に着用されていました。その一方で「おじさんがはくもの」というイメージが強く、白い色も格好悪いと若い世代は徐々に着用しなくなってしまいました。
ステテコに再度光を当てたのは下着メーカー、株式会社アズの武村桂佑さんです。「ある日先輩からステテコを勧められたんです。なんで夏の暑いときに、ズボンの下にもう一枚はくのかと思いましたが、はいてみてびっくりしました。汗のべとつきが軽減されてさらさらな肌ざわりで過ごせたんです」と話します。
武村さんは同世代の友達にもステテコを勧めました。「みんなその快適さには驚いていましたが、やっぱりかっこ悪いなぁと言っていましたね」。しかし武村さんはステテコの持つ機能面に可能性を感じました。
また、武村さんがステテコを魅力的だと思ったのは、帰宅後にズボンを脱げばそのまま部屋着になる点です。これで色柄がついていたらアウターにもなると考えました。2008年に「ステテコ研究所」というサイトを立ち上げ、ウェブで斬新な色柄のステテコの販売を開始します。ステテコのイメージは快適な部屋着に変わり、女性の購入も増えました。
ステテコの人気を受け、他社からも様々なデザインや素材のステテコが販売されるようになりました。しかし、ステテコ本来の良さを一番感じることができるのは、日本の伝統素材である綿クレープを使用しているものだと武村さんは考えています。
201507-1-2

YOGATEKO


ステテコをベースにした女性用のヨガウエア、YOGATEKOも誕生しています。「ヨガウエアは外国製のものがほとんどです。そこで糸を紡ぐことからすべての製造を日本で行い、日本人の体型をカバーして動きやすく、足のラインがきれいに見えるウエアを作ることにしました」とヨガスタジオも主宰するYOGATEKO代表の藤絢子さんは言います。
藤さんはアメリカでの留学経験から日本人はもっと日本の良さを知るべきだと感じていました。そこで100%日本製の生地に日本の伝統文様を組み合わせました。ヨガパンツのほとんどが黒の中、華やかさでも注目されています。その一方で生地はオリンピック日本代表のウエアと同じ最新のものを使用。日本古来の良いものと日本の最新技術を融合した商品となりました。ステテコの固定概念が崩れた今、様々な分野で応用されています。

文:市村雅代[:en][From July Issue 2015]

201507-1-1

As Corporation’s suteteko


Since the summer of 2011, more and more people have been wearing “suteteko.” They first appeared in the Meiji era (19-20th centuries) and were originally used as underwear worn beneath men’s pants. They were made from “cotton crepe,” a crimped material that effectively absorbs sweat, and were regularly used during the hottest time of the year. However, since people thought of them as being “something old men wear,” white suteteko were perceived as being uncool and gradually fewer and fewer young people wore them.
TAKEMURA Keisuke of the underwear maker As Corporation is the person who hit upon the idea of reviving suteteko. “One day, a senior member of staff recommended that I try wearing suteteko. Although I had my doubts about wearing another item of clothing under my pants during the hot summer season, when I tried them on, I was surprised. It alleviated the sticky sensation produced by my sweat and felt smooth against my skin,” he says.
Takemura recommended suteteko to friends of his own generation. “Although everyone was surprised at how comfortable they were, they still felt dowdy in them.” In spite of that, Takemura felt that the functional aspect of them had potential.
In addition, Takemura was attracted by the fact that they could also double as lounge wear once pants are removed. By adding colors and patterns, he reasoned that they might even be worn as outerwear (as opposed to underwear). He established the “Steteco Research Laboratory” website in 2008 and started to sell suteteko on the web in daring colors and patterns. Suteteko was reinvented as comfortable lounge wear and purchases by women increased, too.
As suteteko grew more popular other companies also began to sell suteteko in a variety of different designs and materials. However, Takemura thinks that the best way to feel the utility of suteteko is to wear ones made of cotton crepe.
201507-1-2

YOGATEKO


Yogateko pants, modeled on suteteko, for women practicing yoga have also been created. “Most yoga wear is manufactured abroad. So, in order to make an item of clothing that would fit the Japanese figure and emphasize the beauty of a person’s legs, we decided that the entire production process down to spinning the yarn itself, would be done in Japan,” says TO Ayako, a representative of Yogateko, who also runs a yoga studio.
Since she studied abroad in the U.S., To felt that Japanese people ought to be better informed about the quality of items on offer in their own country. So, she combined a cloth entirely made-in-Japan with traditional Japanese patterns. Though most yoga pants are black, her gorgeous yoga pants have been attracting attention. In addition, it’s just been announced that the fabric she uses is the same as that worn by the Olympic athletes representing Japan. Suteteko have become an item that combines the positive aspects of Japanese tradition with the country’s latest technology. The fixed idea of suteteko has been altered and the clothing item has proved itself to be adaptable to a variety of different purposes.

Text: ICHIMURA Masayo[:]

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