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Paul T

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Posts posted by Paul T


  1. Superslim, do look out for Vintage Levi's 607, orange tab. They were unisex but are the classic womens' bootcut. THey're not always available... you used to be able to get them in a made-in-the-US version that wore brilliantly. My girlfriend stole mine and they look great; another friend bought the LVC reissue version about 18 months ago, they look great, too. And the RED range that inspired the Type 1 is pretty good, straight leg.

    ALl of Levi's rivals (ie the designer at Diesel & Lee) do maintain that Levi's can't do women's cuts... so maybe they're right. About 18 months ago theyactually copied a pair of Seven jeans, cut for cut, to try & get some of that market - it was the 557 girls Square Fit, if you like that Low Rise kinda thing, but the denim wasn't that great.

    But hey, i'm sure you're on the right trail anyway, good luck with the APC.


  2. Sitting at the bottom of my wardrobe I have a few pairs of LVC 1920s reissues, picked up in sales etc, that are the right size - but way too long.

    Sadly, I am bothered by the fact that the hems on these jeans are chainstitched - so I want them shortened chainsitch.

    A while ago, Cinch in London were planning to get a chainstich machine for exactly this reason - now their previous manager has moved on, and they've dropped the idea.

    So... does anyone know of any tailors in London etc who have a chainstitch machine???


  3. Email me that info, I'd be interested.

    Re Cone, I remember the story of their looms from when Evis started out - it was in regard to Evis that people started talking about Levi's (or, of course, Cone) selling their looms. But the Levi's style r/h twill fabric Evis used from the beginning came from Kurabo - this is according to Adriano Goldschmied, who backed Evis in the early days, and was one fo the first people to use Kurabo for modern selvage jeans, way back in the mid 80s. And Kurabo might have the odd US loom, but they're not the mainstay. So I think that story started out as mostly spin, and the notion that the Japanese suddenly started making selvadge BECAUSE they'd bought COne looms in the mid 80s, is basically false.

    However, this doesn't mean that lots of smaller operation haven't bought Cone looms - and I'd love to know if anyone has. But, as the people I know who've spend lots of time at Cone, all the big and many of the small Japanese mills have pointed out, buying second hand looms, repairing them, shipping them and maintaining them wouldn't make sense for most Japanese mills; buying Japanese looms would almost certainly be cheaper.

    Of course, that does leave the question of where all those old US looms went, whether from Cone, or defunct outfits like Erwin mills all across the south. My guess would be they were scrapped - but it's just a guess. What does strike me is that, while the shuttle-looms-to-Japan story is endemic, all the people who should be able to verify it seem doubtful that it happened.


  4. Selfridges, Oxford St, has most of the designer labels, probably including PDC, Evisu etc etc and is probably the best place for modern-ish labels with a lot of choice re washes. On Endell St, Covent Garden, you'll find American Classics (LVC, Lee Japan and more ) and Interstate (Edwin, much more), Duffer just round the corner, as is Replay (generic design, but good washes) plus more stores nearby.


  5. mmm, interesting. I have also asked a senior source from Levi's fabric end... he told me before he thought Cone hadn't sold any looms, he's been to practically all the Japanese mills but he's going back to check. Maybe people will start to get paranoid down in North Carolina!

    Sometimes people just with-hold information, even when they know. I was told by one pretty senior person at LS&Co that the denim was essentially the same when they swtiched to wide looms. I guess a lot of people here will know what they were obscuring...

    Anway, Superslim, I read on a post of yours you wouldn't be seen dead in Levi's, maybe you're too cool to be talking to an LVC freak like me??

    BTW, Spitzbrg, when you say fake Selvage, do you mean non selvage with that fake strip sewed on? Or is there something more sophisticated out there?


  6. Sorry, I meant Levi's, as opposed to LVC - Levi's Vintage, Not a huge difference obviously, but they're marketed differently, and LVC is now made in Japan (it used to be made in the old Valencia St factory). The Levi's I saw were generally a vintage look, with selvage, but not a copy of a specific year 501, like the LVC product, and were a little bit cheaper,


  7. I was in Miami a couple of weeks ago and noticed a newish selvage model that I don't think is LVC. IT's not an exact repro, has a couple of cowboys on the leather patch, I think it was circa $120, didn't look bad. Didn't have time for a proper look, maybe someone else here knows more?


  8. Yes, I think Evisu put their launch date as 1991, but Evis were producing a wide range of pants and jackets by 1990, and I think their earliest production might have been 1988. I'm so old, I can remember their very first jeans that at the time were, for instance, identical to 501s, beautiful copies, but I only ever saw catalogue photos of their Lee or Wrangler replicas. Does anyone else remember the terrible Capital E Levi's? They'er the ones that put Evisu on the map, because they made it obvious the Japanese were doing it better, and it was only when LVC brought in LS&Co Japan that they started to get it right. I've been told by one of the fabric experts at Leiv's was it wasn't the looms that were the problem when they restarted selvage production at Cone, it was that the staff who knew how to nurture the machines had mostly retired.

    I would love to know the truth regarding how many US looms went to Japan... I am sure it happened, but as I said there was a story put about, maybe by Yamane, that Evis (or presumably Kurabo) had bought Levi's (or presumably Cone's) looms and I'm pretty certain that never happened in the way it's been described; when I've asked for more detail from Evisu, I got more information about the sewing machines instead. But if I could get definitive reports of particular mills buying US looms in the 80s I'd be fascinated, I know very little about those mom and pop mills.

    I agree Spitzbrg, , wihtout the Japanese, we wouldn't have access to all this selvage denim today, they treasured and developed it while the Americans abandoned it. Though as Ringring says, many others produce selvage, Legler in Italy have been producing selvage for over a decade, quite possibly they never stopped, and I just heard Orta mills in Turkey are producing some beautiful denim too. My neighbour buys for TopShop (!) and I must ask her where they're buying selvage for all their new range, wouldn't surprise me if it's elsewhere in Asia.


  9. That sounds to have the, er, ring of truth!

    Cone definitely kept most, if not all, of their selvage looms - they were big and bulky, and expensive to maintain, so they shoved them in the basement. But it would be interesting to know if they sold perhaps a couple of them. I think i will try and find out.

    I did actually (I think I mentioned this elesewhere) have a faxed conversation with Yamame, where he said that Evis(u) were using old LEvi's looms. I faxed back and said, I'm puzzled, Leiv's didn't have their own looms, Cone say they haven't sold any, and I thought most of your early denim came from Kurabo. THen he backtracked (I just looked for the fax and can't find it) and said something more general, that he'd tracked down an old-fashioned loom (whcih might well be a Toyota one from Kurabo). I'm sure it's possible there is the odd American loom in Japan, byut I don't think they were responsilbe for the explosion in selvage denim, I think that was more to do with customer demand.

    Ringring, do you know of any other major Japanese mills producing selvage apart from Kurabo, Nisshinbo, Kaihara & Mempo?


  10. Do let me know the name of the denim manufacturers in Japan that bought US looms in the 80s, I'd be really interested. I don't think it's mentioned in the Gilchrist & Manzotti book though (that's the one with duotone pix, right?). What was the one you had access to? In Japan or in the US?

    I'm interested in this subject because it's always said that Japanese companies bought the old Levi's (ie Cone) looms, and I think that's a myth. Cone kept them, but just shoved them down in the basement - they had problems resuscitating them in the early 90s, when Levi's wanted to produce selvage denim, because the staff who knew how to use them had retired!


  11. The technical name for the 'open seam' you mentioned, where you can see the salvage, is 'busted seam'.

    Levi's used a few different colour threads in their denim from Cone. Red for later 501s (earlier ones had no thread), blue for 201, pink for Lady Levi's.

    And I don't believe the Japanese bought any of the old looms, from America, or Cone for instance. Most of the big Japanese denim makers had Japanese looms, usually quite modern. The first post-Cone vintage-style Japanese jean I know of is LVC Japan from 1987, and I guess Evis made their first jeans then or in 1988, both of them with Kurabo denim, I'd be really interested to know of any pre-1987 Japanese selvage, vintage-style jeans.


  12. re selvage: No early Levi's had red selvage. All the 501 denim up until 1915 came from Amoskeag, vegetable-dyed, plain selvage with no line. We don't know twere the 201 fabruic came from - it was unspeciified. From 1922 the 501 fabric was all from Cone, synthetic dye, darker blue. 501 denim had a red line. 201 denim had a blue line. The 201 was slightly cheaper, the same weight denim 9 oz, cotton rather than linen-sewn. MAny people think the 201 fabric is more beautiful - it's a little greener, more white slub lines as it fades, that fabric was used as a model for the Red Series, on which Type 1 was based

    The most obvious tell-tale for repro gear is the 'R' symbol, which was added to LVC denim to avoid their being passed off as the real thing, plus all the things that Serge pointed out, although I would think it should have belt loops from the 20s. And of course those 201 shouldn't even have a tab at all. The arcuate shape would instqantly mark them out as a modern pair, not even a decent reissue (the little diamond at the bottom of the arcuate only appeared post-WW11, and the arcuate would be less symmetrical, because it was done freehand).

    But I can't see why you would want a crappy repro like the ones posted, when you could probably get second hand LVC for the same price. I sold a pair of 1880 repros, natural indigo denim from Kurabo, made in SF, for around $100 on the 'Bay a couple off months ago, anything like that would be a much better deal; even the LVC 201 reissues would only be around $90-$150 and of course you woulnd't be supporting a scamster!


  13. I think 1947 is a pretty straight leg; 1964 slightly more tapered. DOn't know about 1967. Will try and find booklet I have which should explain. The new 501 is based on the 1947 shape, but lower rise, with slightly tilted waist. They said that the shape is more antifit, but I don't know if it's more antifit than the 1947 or 1964, it's just that it's not as much of a carrot shape as the previous (pretty horrible) fit.


  14. "Anyone else notice that the guy whose selling these jeans bought a pair of fake 201s? "

    DOn't you love eBay listings that say "I am not sure how old these jeans are"... but they still describe them as vintage! Maybe our $16,000 seller was trying to get his jeans as clean as the ones he just bought!

    The 201s are my favourite reissues, though, I still regret missing a bunch of new ones on the 'bay - I have just one pair, unworn, that I'm saving for a special occasion, and of course they're not making them in SF anymore. The 201 is my favourite denim. I bumped into a guy that found 10 of them at TK Maxx for £20 each, and he auctions them off for five times that!


  15. ONe other thing I heard a couple of weeks ago regarding Evisu, is that there is a huge problem with counterfeiting - one guy I was talking to, who used to work for Levi's pretty high up in the UK, and still freelances for them, tells me that the brand is basically in real trouble, because they've allowed counterfeiting to get out of hand; they've also cheapened the brand anyway, and confused retailers.

    BTW, I don't think Evisu own their own looms. THat story about them buying old Levi's looms was always bull (Leiv's never owned their own looms, either). I think most of Evisu's fabric comes from a company called Kurabo, who do of course use shuttle looms, but I'm not even certain the looms are American.


  16. What a crazy listing! I LOVE the fact the guy washed the jeans. Unbelievable.

    Idon't think these jeans are as rare as our friend claims. Levi's already own several of this vintage, perhaps not as good condition but I wouldn't be sure, and certainly some earlier ones, which feature an earlier leather patch, and I know of others of similar vintage owned by collectors. And the $45,000 pair were a much rarer, early type which predated the 501 (those were the ones reissued as the Nevada something or other for $500 or so). Also, there are errors in his listing - early Levi's never had a red line in the selvage. BUT, on the other hand, I don't think I've EVER seen that pocket printing (with the racist wording!) on an actual pair of old Levi's.

    I shall be watching the auction, and if you see a 'greenwichpaul' bidding on there you will know I've lost my mind!

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