SUKUMO leather is given its unique indigo skin through a natural process. Following a 600-year-old Japanese tradition, the dye is made from the fermented leaves of the mature indigo. The dye, Sukumo, is produced in the Awa district of the Tokushima region, near Kyoto. All SUKUMO leathers are dyed in the historical city of Kyoto. They have received high praise for versatility, allowing the customer to choose between different designs and styles.
From start to finish the dyeing process of Sukumo takes one year. Currently there are only five recognised manufacturers producing Sukumo. They use a method called "Rōketsuzome" - a traditional wax-resist textile dyeing technique - and "Shiborizome" - a manual resist dyeing technique which produces patterns on fabric in Kyoto.
Drying, aging and fermentation are repeated in a 300-day cycle. Sukumo’s blue colouring is a result of the indigo plant's leaves that are picked at different stages to produce a deeper shade of blue. Each resulting shade of blue is as unique as it is a natural product. The distressed finish becomes softer and richer with age giving its look even more character over time.
Natural Aizen leather production is a step-by-step process which connects techniques handed down by multiple craftsmen. In Tokushima, Yoshiharu Toyama grows leaves at his farm in Awa. In Kyoto, leather is dyed by Naoyui Asai, a second-generation artisan practitioner of Rooketsu and Japanese batik. The leather then enters its final stages in Hyōgo, where a special finishing process is applied at the factory in Tatsuno city, and is created through collaboration with various designers and brands. Now, the finished product is entering the international market with the collaboration of international designers.