An OD+FM Collaboration | The Natural Indigo x Sumi Selvedge Denim 6-Panel Cap

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Our second collaboration with Osaka hatters, The Factory Made, was our chance to fully celebrate Tokushima’s rich heritage of all things indigo. The region has been renowned as the hotbed for Natural Indigo development and production since the 1700s, with the craft being recognized by the government of Japan as an intangible national treasure. Rising to the challenge, our aim from the get-go was to put on a pedestal one of our favorite denim fabrics of years past. The Natural Indigo x Sumi Denim fabric was sourced directly from Rampuya, the fabled dyeing factory responsible for creating some of the most revered Natural Indigo fabrics including PBJ's Aizome series. Rewinding the clock back to 2018, this exact fabric made the cut for a very small production lot of Jeans and Jackets. With just enough fabric to produce 30 hats, we jumped on the opportunity to breathe new life into this Denim. Now is your chance to own Natural Indigo, as a composition that will likely never be produced again.

The 17oz. Natural Indigo x Sumi Selvedge Denim 6-Panel Cap ($195)

The cotton yarns used to weave the fabric of this hat are hank dyed with natural indigo, by aging craftsmen in Tokushima, Japan. With hank dyeing, the yarns are dipped repeatedly by hand (minimum of 20 times per lot) until the deep blue color of the natural indigo has settled into the cotton threading.
The persistence that hank dyeing with natural indigo requires, guarantees a denim with a more resilient indigo color than any chemical indigo dye. The lengthy duration for the preparation of the dye, as well as a limited annual supply (only using Japanese Indigofera plant leaves) make natural indigo denim from Tokushima particularly sought after.
Traditionally, Sumi is produced from a combination of pinewood soot, animal glue and perfume. A common misconception is that the final product is a liquid, when in fact the ink is only the result of rubbing a solid ink 'stick' against an inkstone with water. Thus, the original production of ink sticks requires a painstaking process of thoroughly mixing the raw ingredients before kneading and shaping them in wooden molds. The ageing process can take from a few months to several years.

In the case of the Tokushima shokunin (artisans) that created the yarns used to produce this denim, the soot the comes off burnt pine tree bark is combined with a natural adhesive to create a natural Sumi sukumo which is then created into a dark dye.

As this hat is constructed with the fabric in its raw state, the rigidity of both the panels and brim make for a solidly constructed 6-panel cap. Our collaboration would not be complete without a Selvedge salute. The Red Selvedge ID featured on the rear left panel of the hat is our way of tipping our hats (pun intended) to the craftsmen who continue to push the boundaries of Denim fabrics in Japan.

The signature OD Red and White stitched eyelets add a nice element of color pop to offset the tonal color stitching. Not only representative of the OD logo, the red and white pay homage to the colors of the Japanese flag. One subtle yet welcome touch we could not leave out was the 日本謹製 (Humbly Made in Japan) rayon tag featured on the left panel of the hat. 

Inner Brim Sizing: 58.5cm (23")

The OD+FM Natural Indigo x Sumi Selvedge Denim 6-Panel Cap drops on 12/18 @ Midnight (JST)

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