Denim Hunting In Japan's Okayama Pefecture
October 14, 2022
As some of you know, we've kinda got a thing for fabric. It's how we start the design process for every garment we make. We call it Fabric First. It's buzz-wordy, we know, but it's got a ring to it. So when it came time to hunt down some of the finest denim, selvedge cloth, and workwear fabric we could find, our search led us here. To central Japan.
To add inventory to the cultural phenomena, American soldiers who left Japan after World War II often left some of their belongings behind, among them jeans. Many of these artifacts would end up being sold in street markets, and so jeans became a common second-hand purchase.
A common identifier of 30 inch denim that has come off a shuttle loom is the white line on the side of the fabric, where the loom has created its "self-edge" (this is where 60 inch denim that was produced on a projectile loom would just have frayed edges). This white edging often has a red stitch within it which is why selvedge denim is sometimes referred to in Japan as akamini or “red ear.”