Looking Forward to Rainy Days: The Transparent Foldable Umbrella
A seemingly elusive innovation, the transparent vinyl foldable umbrella, has garnered significant popularity since its release in 2019, after a three-year development period. The driving force behind this creation is White Rose, a company that has been renowned for its commitment to functional design ever since it pioneered vinyl umbrellas six decades ago.
Satoru Sudou, the 10th-generation president, reflects, “For about a decade, we had been conducting event sales in department stores nationwide. During our travels, we were consistently asked by customers if there was a vinyl foldable umbrella available. This experience truly underscored the extent of the demand.”
Throughout the development process, two major challenges emerged. The firstcentered on ensuring the durability of the connection between the vinyl material and the umbrella’s framework. Unlike fabrics traditionally used for foldable umbrellas, vinyl cannot be sewn. However, through trial and error, using transparent cords and employing a heat-treatment process known as high-frequency welding to effectively bond the material with the frame, a breakthrough was achieved. The second challenge, then, pertained to creating fold lines for when the umbrella was in its collapsed position. For the umbrella to fold neatly, precise fold lines were essential. However, vinyl was originally designed to avoid retaining such lines. To address this, the team again used the high-frequency welding technique, this time to emboss fold lines, resulting in a tidy folding mechanism.
In 2019, the transparent foldable umbrella finally became a reality, serving as a testament to White Rose’s dedication to functional innovation since its pioneering days of vinyl umbrella manufacturing over half a century ago.
Once brought to market, the eagerly anticipated umbrella received a fantastic response from users. The name “Amemachi” was born from voices exclaiming, “I now look forward to rainy days.” Just like White Rose’s other products, the umbrella boasts meticulous features such as an “inverted valve structure” that prevents the frame from flipping inside out in strong winds, robust and flexible fiberglass ribs, and vinyl crafted from a special film with high transparency and exceptional water repellency. Furthermore, the umbrella comes with considerate details, including an option to switch to a curved handle for improved grip and a carrying pouch that accommodates both the folded and extended states.
Right: The umbrella comes with a case in a matching color, making it easy to carry even after the rain stops.