Dealing with a ton of denim daily will sometimes make the classic Indigo x White denim that we so thoroughly carry (and will always love), redundant. Hence we wanted to step out of the box for this collaboration.
So what better way to step out of the box than by designing and producing an original Selvedge denim that we had full creative control over. May sound like an easy, fun task. Well, fun it was for sure. But easy, hell no. We conceptualized and designed this fabric in August of 2015. It took over six months to bring our idea to fruition, showing that producing a fabric from scratch in limited production runs and turning that fabric into a garment, is not an easy task.
Knowing that we had the Collect Mill on our side to sample and produce fresh fabrics for us was the only way we made this possible. We picked the thread color of the weft we had in mind, and they produced samples for us to go through. This went on for a while, following the acronyms OK1, OK2, OK3, etc. as seen above.
Our criteria was 18oz Selvedge with a F-ton of Slub. You could say that the Mill was probably slightly annoyed with us. As any denim nerd will tell you, in order to make an ultra slubby denim, the tension needs to be both slowed down and made irregular to create a slub-heavy weave. As you guessed, slows the production process down.
We went through countless hues of blue before finally settling on the second sample produced, "OK2". The shade of blue was neither Navy or Cobalt, but somewhere in the middle. Hence we aptly named this fabric the "Sapphire Slub", lending to the hue of blue and the heavy slub characteristics of the denim.
The minimums are intense for producing a brand new fabric, but if we were going to do a collaboration with Japan Blue using our new favorite Hi-Tapered fit, it had to be with a fabric that we saw as genuinely original and unique.