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Where does the design of the Laniakea sweaters from Sunray Sportswear come from?

What's up with the design? Why are the shoulders "displaced"? What's up with the 'V' neck? Why the long bottom hem and arm hem?

First of all we need to understand that this type of garment, the sweater, was originally made for American Footballers to wear underneath all their equipment to add some padding, but foremost to handle the sweat, hence the name "Sweater".

While sportswear equipment has come a long way since mid 20th century and the sweater has lost its original purpose to more advanced garment technology in the sports arena, it is still used today for casual everyday, wether you're in to streetwear, preppy wear or heritage. It's to this date still one of the most beloved pieces around the globe for its comfort casual look and versatility.

So here comes a few key details on why it looks like it does.

Sunray Sportswear Laniakea | Meadow
Sunray Sportswear Laniakea | Meadow

1. The V insert - This is simply a sweat catcher to pick up the sweat coming down from the neck.

 Sunray Sportswear Laniakea | Meadow
Sunray Sportswear Laniakea | Meadow

2. The long hem elastic hems - These are there to keep the sweater in place underneath the equipment, and they're extra long because American Football is a rough sport, so a regular hem wouldn't be strong enough.

Sunray Sportswear Laniakea | Meadow

3. The off the shoulder seem - Also known as "displaced shoulder" or "drop shoulder". This is where it is because it allows freedom of movement. While we might not move as much as these athletes it's a nice feature that makes it drape extremely nice with that natural unconstructed casual look.

Sunray Sportswear Laniakea | Meadow

4. The boxy fit - Last but not least. The short fit is, as you probably figured out, for the sweater not to drop down underneath the equipment and be in the way of mobility. Not that it has anything to do with its original intention, but it makes your legs look longer ;)

Shop the Laniakea from Sunray Sportswear here!

And here's additional information regarding Sunray Sportswear's way of producing these fine garments:

All Sunray items are made in Japan. Japanese clothing production is probably the best in the world. They are made on an antique circular knitting machine. These machines were used before production became much more mechanised, where production volume took precedence over quality. These antique machines can only produce 1 meter per hour (a sweater needs about 1.2 meters). The machine puts the cotton into a tube at just 24 rpm and makes it possible to produce a sweater that has no side seam. The slow revolution rate means the cotton is laid down softly and without any form of tension. No tension and no side seam results in a garment that can almost never lose its shape. The slow knitting and meticulous process of producing a sweater result in each Sunray sweater taking over 1.5 hours to manufacture.

The manufacturer that makes the Sunray products has been around since 1926 and has been in the same family for 3 generations. They once made uniforms for the Japanese Imperial Palace.