Lexus LS: Fourth Generation

The Story of the Lexus LS Hand Pleated Door Trim

Lexus LS Pleated

This article was originally published by Lexus Europe.

Featured in selected grades of the all-new Lexus LS are hand pleated door trims inspired by the quintessential Japanese art of origami. These fabric panels are crafted in a small studio in the historical city of Kyoto, headed by an extraordinary Takumi craftsperson.

Hand Pleating is the fabric counterpart to Origami, the ancient Japanese art of paper folding. From a single piece of cloth, hand pleating crafts a design expressing patterns formed by light and shadow.

Lexus LS Pleats Takumi

At her studio, the Sankyo Co., Ltd.’s Yuko Shimizu designs and pleats fine fabrics for curtains, fashion apparel and wedding dresses, the latter being a specialty of hers. She draws daily inspiration from the nature around her, “The sky above, the movement of cloud and the river,” she says, “For example, outside our Kyoto studio is a river, its low waters flowing over the pebbles to reveal patterns that influence my designs.” Sankyo was originally a supplier of pleat-making machinery, and in the decades that followed, Shimizu constantly learned and improved the art of hand pleating from the craftspeople she encountered.

Lexus LS Pleats Again

With that hunger to continue learning more from many different sources, it is no surprise that Shimizu differentiates from her peers with out-of-the-box thinking that helps create solutions to unexpected obstacles, a very necessary approach to the particular challenges this initiative provided.

Shimizu’s craft came to the attention of textile manufacturer, Seiren Co., Ltd. Shimizu applied her wedding dress pleating expertise to a fabric sample provided by Seiren. Her work fulfilled Lexus’ desire to imbue the LS model with a feeling of timeless Japanese craftsmanship, resulting in a three-way collaboration to develop the pleated door trim.

The fabric provided by Seiren to be folded into the pleated panels is luxuriant yet hard-wearing – it’s also significantly thicker and heavier than those Shimizu normally pleats. The challenge facing Sankyo was delivering finished panels that both reflect the elegance and craftsmanship of the LS while still being able to withstand the rugged nature of a passenger vehicle interior – climactic variances, dust and human use elements amongst others.

Lexus LS Pleats Artisans

Shimizu’s unorthodox approach made that balance possible. “To answer this challenge, we brought a whole new way of thinking and completely overhauled our work processes.” Shimizu said. She doubled her team’s size to six artisans, dividing the twenty processes in the development between them. The completion of a single pleated panel is a culmination of an undivided three-day effort.

Lexus LS Pleats Again Again

While pleating at Sankyo is customarily carried out by a single Takumi, transforming this more durable fabric into pleated panels necessitated an extra Takumi, both folding the pleats in synchronicity. That innovation was followed by another as Shimizu introduced new techniques to achieve a shine that changes as the angle of light does, and incorporate a graduating fold size in the pleats. As daylight or door trim illumination falls across them, one realizes this interplay of light and shadow forms three-dimensional patterns along the door panel, each fold expressing the Lexus “L” motif.

Lexus LS Artisans Again

While all are regular company employees, Shimizu’s team collaborate closely, in the manner of a family. Their combined energies, effort and skill have been poured into the hand-finished pleated fabrics. More than a mere product, she hopes occupants in the LS will experience her philosophy of luxury, “We really put a lot of energy into crafting something beautiful that also radiates warmth for passengers to feel comfortable and relaxed.”

Comments
Lexus IS inspiring every single day with what they are doing and how amazing their thinking goes!!
I WILL ALWAYS BE A LEXUS FAN NO MATTER WHAT
Hamed Al Sayes
Lexus IS inspiring every single day with what they are doing and how amazing their thinking goes!!
I WILL ALWAYS BE A LEXUS FAN NO MATTER WHAT
Hear hear
C
Refreshing original detail that wreaks luxury!
Really amazing --- I mean the craftsmanship and the visual cues . It does take LS to the next level. And the video is great too.
Awesome interior, but am I the only one to notice the different placement of the memory seat buttons in the picture and in the video? I much prefer the former.
[​IMG]
R
  • R
    RDS
  • March 8, 2017
ydooby
am I the only one to notice the different placement of the memory seat buttons in the picture and in the video?
I noticed it too, official photo(s) use this memory seat buttons
[​IMG]
ydooby
Awesome interior, but am I the only one to notice the different placement of the memory seat buttons in the picture and in the video? I much prefer the former.
Pretty sure the video is pure CGI, and it's probably based on older prototype.

Maybe?
krew
Pretty sure the video is pure CGI, and it's probably based on older prototype.

Maybe?
Even the shape and the look of the trim piece is different, so yeah i think you're right.
Video: Designing the Lexus LS Kiriko Glass Interior Trim

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Lexus uses of hand-cut glass is a world first in an automobile.
View the original article post
krew [​IMG]

It took four years to develop the fabric design, with every panel folded by hand.
View the original article post
It is stunning in person.... nothing else like it
To me it looks less like flickering flames and more like a painting of ripples in water. But it looks amazing regardless of what you Rorschach out of it.
The Story of the Lexus LS Art Wood Trim

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Extensive development for exclusive interior.
View the original article post
Nice
Ok.. Maybe it's me... But I can't seem to find that color palate on the USA Lexus website when I build out my LS (glass with light blue/gray leather with the tan silk)..

Can anyone help.
TroyHoward
Ok.. Maybe it's me... But I can't seem to find that color palate on the USA Lexus website when I build out my LS (glass with light blue/gray leather with the tan silk)..

Can anyone help.
The Japanese Domestic Market (and even Europe, to some extent) offers a number of interior combinations, materials and options unavailable in North America. It seems that, sadly, this is one of those.
Joaquin Ruhi
The Japanese Domestic Market (and even Europe, to some extent) offers a number of interior combinations, materials and options unavailable in North America. It seems that, sadly, this is one of those.
It's just not right I tell you.
All I know is the fit and finish and interior and materials etc of the new LS are just stunning. As good as it gets out there!
R
  • R
    RAL
  • May 18, 2018
truly amazing ... I prefer the art of Japanese hand pleating over German quilting anyday!
The fact that creating has come so far , is just simply amazing. Lexus just keep pushing the bar , doing thinks no one else can even think of .

G
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