Today we're giving you a special look at the rarest selvedge denim we've ever run. One look at these photos and we think you'll agree, it's also one of the most beautiful selvedge denims we've ever run. Enjoy the photos, the story and if you act fast, your very own pair to start breaking in.
Note: We recommend going up 3 sizes compared to your standard Gustin size owing to the denseness of the weave and the shrink-to-fit nature of this fabric.
Last year we found a selvedge denim from Japan that was clearly unlike anything we’d seen before. We called it the Pure Indigo Slub Loomstate. The fabric was 10x more expensive than what we see from some of the top mills in Japan. It was a pure representation of ancient production methods and a rare example of how beautiful a piece of fabric can be. This was the type of fabric that you would most likely never see another brand using. If you did, it would be a $700 pair of denim (yes, that was the case with the Pure Indigo Slub Loomstate fabric used by an obscure Japanese brand). Ever since we laid hands on that fabric we knew we needed to learn more about the people that made it. Was this just a one-off experiment? If not, were they making anything else as cool? And more importantly, could we snag even just a tiny amount of it so that we could offer it to you? Today, we’re going to show you what we learned and bring you the first installment of a selvedge denim world that is as close to art as you’ll ever come.
The mill that makes these fabrics in Japan is a true anachronism, in the best sense of the word. It’s a tiny family run operation that has a complete devotion to making selvedge denim the old-fashioned way. Every style is loomstate, receiving no controlling treatments what so ever. Yarns are hank-dyed, an extremely old and manual hand dying technique that almost no mill performs. The yarns themselves showcase Japan’s true appreciation or beauty in irregularity, possessing some of the most texture and character we’ve ever seen. All this craft results in a fabric that we have the privilege of turning into pure denim art. This is just special fabric.
Our first in this series of extreme selvedge denims is the Hand Dye Persimmon X Real Indigo. Every aspect of this fabric is elevated to the highest level. This is one of those selvedge denims that is so painfully beautiful you’ll almost be overly protective of it.
That beauty is a result of intense craftsmanship. It starts with yarn selection. Monstrously slubby yarns like this are a hallmark of some of the best Japanese denim. It’s a nod to Japan’s wabi-sabi aesthetic (the art in imperfect things), but finding it in such an intense flavor is very rare. It creates a tapestry of raised grain gives the surface incredible visual depth. It’s not just a look, you’ll find yourself wanting to constantly touch the surface of this fabric. Next comes dye. This fabric incorporates not only a truly ancient and rare dye process, but also uses very unusual ingredients. All the yarn in this style is hank-dyed, a painstakingly manual, hand-based process. Almost no other mill uses it as it’s incredibly time consuming but many feel the result is greater depth of color. The warp on this style is a beautiful woody brown, with the color actually coming from a persimmon dye. While we’ve run one other selvedge style that used persimmon dye, it was subtle and in the weft. The brown persimmon color defines this fabric. Even the weft of this style is dialed up. It’s a deep indigo blue, coming from real indigo from plants, again, rare and expensive. While the warp color dominates, the slubby yarns allow the real indigo weft to peek through in spots. This is a pure loomstate fabric, which means it receives no treatments that more modern denims receive. It’s as raw is it gets. The 16 ounce weight and lack of treatment leaves this fabric feeling extra dense and with a crisp, almost dry hand that only the purest of selvedge denim has. This is truly the pinnacle of selvedge denim to someone that appreciates the history of this fabric. We can promise you it will be an experience to own.
We recommend sizing 3 up compared to your standard Gustin size. I wear a 31, so I would likely go for a 34 because I have a bit of room in my 31’s. You can influence how much your pair shrinks by how you wash it. We recommend cold soaking in the tub followed by a hang dry. This method will get you about two sizes of shrink and your denim will be super stiff at this point. You’ll probably be tempted to stand it up on its own and it might actually work. Throw them on and enjoy the break-in process! This is one of the greatest feeling fabrics we’ve ever tried on. To accommodate for the inseam shrinkage, we'll be adding 2" to all inseam lengths.
Given that this is such a unique and experimental fabric that will require soaking/washing before the first wear, we will not be able to take any returns or exchanges.