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First time visiting us? Confused with all the esoteric denim lingo?
Well, we're here to help! Browse through our Glossary and begin scratching the surface of our little world of Japanese denim.
Notable for the desired roping effect it yields over time. It is used on the hem of the leg opening of premium jeans for the durability factor as well as to avoid fraying.
3. CHAINSTITCH RUNOFF
This is a detail that many brands retain in order to give garments a more vintage aesthetic.
This is commonly referred to as a Crotch Blowout.
There are differents types of fading, such as Honeycomb, Whiskers and Train Tracks or Stacks. Atari (当たり) is a Japanese term describing to the most common fading located along side seams, front and back of knees, upper thighs, along the hem, belt loops and pocket seams.
Some brands add Selvedge to this section as a complimentary detail.
Producing Natural Kakishibu dye is a notoriously slow process which starts with the harvesting of the unripe fruit during the Summer. The extracted juices must then undergo a one-year fermentation and storage process, in order to remove impurities such as organic acids prior to being refined as a dye.
Once the contents of the vat have fermented, the remaining foam may be used as a natural indigo dye. Natural indigo dye has been a part of Japanese textile culture for centuries. It came into particular prevalence during the Edo period because it was the best type of dye for use on cotton fiber at the time. It is sometimes referred to as "Blue Gold" amongst enthusiasts.
Many Japanese manufacturers of denim agree that the water in Okayama has a high mineral content coupled with favorable pH levels. This combination helps to produce high quality denim fabric, which also assists in the depth of color and resilience of the indigo dye.
Another factor would be the prevalence of factories using vintage shuttle looms to produce their denim fabric. Although the production of denim on shuttle looms yield much less fabric (about 40m a day) than the mass production of projectile looms, the quality of the selvedge fabric which the shuttle looms output is far superior than the modern projectile looms.
The use of indigo dye is not new to textile production in Japan. Traditionally, Kimono fabric was also sometimes indigo dyed, and thus the technique of rope dyeing has been a part of textile production in Japan for centuries.
Raw denim is typically a dark indigo blue as a new product. The areas that a pair of jeans will show the most wear and fading include the ankles, behind the kneed, and upper thighs.
Often considered the most desirable aspect of Raw denim is the fact that the fade patterns and patina which develop over time, and will be unique to the body of the user and his/her daily activities. Raw denim will shrink approximately 1-2 inches around the waist after washing. While this will not affect the actual intensity of fade contrast.
In order to perfect the natural whiskers and honeycombs, the best way is to wear the same pair of jeans everyday for at least three to six months before washing.
A rivet is a permanent metal fastner that is used as a reinforcement on the pocket corners of jeans. Originally patented by Russian-born tailor, Jacob Davis, with the financial support and backing of Levi Strauss and Company in 1873, rivets are found on almost all jeans today.
The rope dyeing technique which is common in Okayama, creates a beautiful yarn. It is the physically enduring process of dyeing the cotton threads in indigo and then twisting the yarns together to mimic a rope.
Leaving the core of the yarns undyed, it is the understood guarantee that the finished denim garment will fade perfectly with age and time.
Sanforized denim is treated post-production and is mechanically pre-shrunk to ensure less shrinkage of the fabric after washing. This will eliminate the calculating and guessing process that often comes with buying Unsanforized denim.
On the other hand, unsanforized denim does not receive any treatment post-production and is sent directly for cutting and sewing into jeans, as loom state fabric. These jeans are prone to shrink 7- 10% with the first soak (variance can be greater even, and depends on fabric and soak process) and are preferred by hardcore enthusiasts due to the character and weave which tends to be much hairer and slubbier in nature.
16. SELVEDGE DENIM
The fabric which is derived from a shuttle loom will have a clean, self- finished edge which will not fray or unravel.
Selvedge denim has become the fabric of choice for premium jean producers around the world. A turned-up cuff reveals the clean, finished edges as two colored stripes running up the seam of the jeans.
These stripes were most commonly red in color but today can be found in a range of colors and variations. In the early days of Japanese jeans, the stripe was used as an ID tag that distinguished the different denim fabric manufacturers in Okayama.
Serge, known for it's durability and longevity as a fabric, has been used in many countries for industrial workwear and military uniforms.
Denim is a derivation of this fabric.
18. SHUTTLE LOOM
Selvedge denim fabric produced on shuttle looms is of superior quality and will last a lifetime.
A Twill weave can be identified by its ribbing. The combination of a weft yarn running through the warp yarn creates a Twill. Denim most commonly comes in right hand twill, although left hand twill is also available in smaller amounts as only a number of seweing machines create left hand twill fabric.
Even less common is broken twill denim which features a zig zag pattern weave, similar to Herringbone.
The warp thread is normally tougher than the weft thread as it is held in high tension,
The reason selvege does not fray is because the weft threads are looped over and under the warp.