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Posted (edited)

@VivaMarlon

I found my 36" 1955 notes!

36/34 1966's left, 36/36 1955's right.

Waistband:

36.5" – 38" 

Hips (at point where pocket reinforcement top stitching ends):

46" – 44"

Thigh, at crotch:

27" – 27"

Thigh, 2" down from crotch:

26" – 26"

Actual knee:

20" – 21.5"

Hem:

17.5" – 18.5"

Front rise:

12.5" – 13.625"

Inseam:

33.0" (1 inch under tag) – 35.5" (1/2" under tag)

Leg opening,  both pairs measured at 33" inseam:

17.5" – 19"

As you can see, the '55's are a much more straight-profiled pair of jeans, everywhere. The waist is larger and the hips narrower – i.e. the top block is straighter. And even though they have the same exact thigh measurements, the taper of the '55's is dramatically less, even by the time you get to the knee.

Edited by 428CJ

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Posted (edited)

...and since I'm in the mood and have the info right in front of me, here is my 34/34 1955's vs. my 36/36 1955's. I have included the percentages bigger that the 36's are, to provide an example of how sizing does slightly alter the cut of a pair of jeans. Each size is not simply a perfectly scaled-up or scaled-down version of some other size. As you can see the various points of measurement on the 36's range from about 2 percent bigger to about 7.5 percent bigger than on the 34's.

34's left, 36's right.

36/34 1966's left, 36/36 1955's right.

Waistband:

35.5" – 38" ('36's are 7.0 percent bigger)

Hips (at point where pocket reinforcement top stitching ends):

42" – 44" ('36's are 4.8 percent bigger)

Thigh, at crotch:

26.5" – 27" ('36's are 1.9 percent bigger)

Thigh, 2" down from crotch:

25" – 26" ('36's are 4.0 percent bigger)

Actual knee:

20" – 21.5" ('36's are 7.5 percent bigger)

Hem:

17.75" – 18.5" ('36's are 4.2 percent bigger)

Front rise:

13" – 13.625" ('36's are 4.8 percent bigger)

Inseam:

33.5" (1/2 inch under tag) – 35.5" (1/2" under tag)

Edited by 428CJ

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Posted (edited)

...and since I just happen to have my 1933 (36/34) measurements as well, here they are, just for trivia's sake.

Waistband:

38.5" 

Hips (at midpoint of front rise):

45"

Thigh, at crotch:

27"

Thigh, 2" down from crotch:

26"

Actual knee:

21.75"

Hem:

18.75"

Front rise:

13.25"

Inseam:

34"

The '33's are a bit bigger than the '55's everywhere, except for the upper thighs (both are the same) and the rise ('55 is higher).

As you can see, the '66's are very different, as they have a very figured upper block, with wide hips and a drawn-in waist compared to other models (even '76's, which keep the same basic leg shape of the '66's, but go back to a straighter upper block – tighter hips, and no significantly drawn-in waist). As such, '66's are the LVCs that best conform to a classic textbook male form. And due to their extremely generous hips, they can be downsized more easily (unless you have a belly that creates problems with the drawn-in waist).

Edited by 428CJ

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I’ll chip in with my experience of a 66 in a smaller size 33x34. I found them to be a bit slim through the top block.

After a good hot soak and wash with Raw size in brackets:

Waist: 16.25” (17”)

Hip: 12.25

Thigh: 12”

Knee: 9”

Hem: 8” (8.4”)

Inseam 31.5” (34”)

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Posted (edited)
23 hours ago, Pedro said:

Really? 

I guess I thought that with the decisions to make the various modifications that each year is known for, (suspender buttons giving way to belt loops, rivets no longer being exposed, leg tapers, etc) that some concensus would have been reached on patterns to cut the fabric. 

Thanks for the insight.

 

Indeed, but different people have reached a different consensus, because there's a lot of room for interpretation in a cut. Pattern making is quite complex, particularly the way sizing changes were accommodated. For instance, in the early days the top block was left the same size and only the waist band changed, which is why you get pleats in some of the early yokes. Interpreting old patterns always has a subjective element to it, particularly if you're only looking at worn, washed examples, as they will have stretched in different ways.

On top of that, I'd reckon that LVC have added a bit of a spin to each pair, to delineate them better. I don't agree with all of the decisions, for instance I don't like the 66 pockets and wish they'd change the design. I have mentioned this to peeps in charge, but they have a lot on their plate.

Re measurements, there's a full set here. Some measurements have changed, in almsot all models the waist measurements are much more true to size but it gives a good idea of relative seat, thigh and leg opening dimensions etc.
 

 

Edited by Paul T

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Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, bod said:

I’ll chip in with my experience of a 66 in a smaller size 33x34. I found them to be a bit slim through the top block.

After a good hot soak and wash with Raw size in brackets:

Waist: 16.25” (17”)

Hip: 12.25

Thigh: 12”

Knee: 9”

Hem: 8” (8.4”)

Inseam 31.5” (34”)

What does hip 12.5" mean? Hips are usually in the 40's, or upper 30's on smaller sizes.

Additionally, I find the frequent reports here of '66's being slim in the top block to be very odd. I have 1880's, 1915's, 1933's, 1944's, 1955's, 1966's, and 1976's, all in size 36. The '66's have the most relaxed hips of the lot (1 inch larger hip measurement than my '33's which are the next most relaxed in the hips). Yet they also have the smallest waistband of the lot. My '66's hips are 46" and the waistband is 35.5" held aligned. All my other LVC 36's have bigger waistbands and tighter hips. The upper block of the '66's is truly bell shaped, with very relaxed hips and a drawn in waistband...just like the LVC description and the LVC cartoon silhouette. I can understand someone finding the waistband tight, if they don't have a drawn in waist themselves. But I can't see the entire upper block being called tight. IME, they have quite a relaxed fit in the hips, and the waistband draws in, so they stay up better than most LVCs. Because of this, I find them to be the most suitable LVCs for downsizing – because as long as the hips fit, everything else on a pair of straight-legged jeans will stretch to fit in time (waistband, thighs, etc.). And with generous hip room, you can downsize quite a bit before the jeans get tight there.

Edited by 428CJ

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Posted (edited)
On 11/1/2018 at 10:39 PM, 501XX4EVER said:

Nope, also I have loads of 80's and early 90's 501s that have belt loops that don´t hit the yoke stitching.

The Fried-erino is close but no cigar.The '653' is significant but the '82' is why I think these are "special". I believe 1982 was roughly the year that Levis stopped making selvedge 501s as standard, although I'm sure a few of the factories still had surplus in stock and used it up until it was gone but in general, I think 1982 was the cut off point. I have seen the ones they made immediately after the '82 cut off referred to as the "transition" model jeans, in that they were the exact same cut and had most of the same details of the selvedge models, just no selvedge. This was before things got a lot more standard in terms of shape, fit and details in the mid to late 1980's, when the overall design became more uniform and consistent. I have bought and sold so many non-selvedge 1980's 501s over the last few years it has become a bit of an obsession, they are absolutely fantastic jeans and can have a fairly significant variation depending on the year and factory number. This is the first time I've got my hands on a "transition" pair. So for example, if you look closely at the pictures of the back pockets or the picture with the fly open, (you can expand the photo's to a super large size if you're on a computer), you can see that they still have the black thread "bar tacked" on the top of the pockets. Also, and not to put too fine a point on it, but the back pockets on these are fucking massive, they are nearly at 1960's 505 proportions. Lots of other things like single felled inseams, the nickel backing on the back of the rivets, even the belt loops kinda have the "raised" center that a lot of the Japanese retro brands recreate. The thing is, I believe the "transition" models were not made for very long, they got rid of the black thread for the bar tacking fairly quickly and they changed to the double felled inseam I guess around the mid 80's??? So weirdly enough, these might be one of the earliest of the non-selvedge jeans Levis made back then and as they were only made for a very short time, fairly "rare". I know not everyone would think they are "special" but, if I'm right about these, they definitely have some Mojo about them, after all, denim doesn't have to be selvedge to be unique.

Wherever the '653' factory was located and what patterns they were using I would love to know because they seemed to be a bit like Kurtz in "Apocalypse Now", out there running wild and doing their own thing. These are the third pair of '653' 501s I have owned, the other two are from '83 and are what I would call post-post transition, they still have a few of the details of the late 70's early 80's models, just not as much. But they all have some quirky details, mainly very weird coin pockets. I am lucky enough to have three pairs of selvedge 501's, one form 79, the other two from the 80's and they all have very nice, neat coin pockets. The '653' ones look more like something from the 40's and they have a single stitch rather than the chain stitch that all 501s had since the 60's. This is a picture of a coin pocket from a 40's pair on Juke_kakui's Instagram page and it's kinda what the '653' coin pockets look like.

18161860_1092911624186398_25876301870970

Any of the fans of Conners Sewing Factory would love the '653' 501s as they have wonky stitching and loose threads a go go, definitely a different attitude to quality control than the other factories at the time.

Bit of a long post but there you go, ever since the demise of Cone I've gotten a little bit more OCD on all things Levi's.

Just to give a pointless update on what I was blathering on about back on page 675...

The talk about patterns for various models/years reminded me of it,  the first 2 photo's show the coin pockets from my 3 pairs of selvedge 501's, the one to the left is the oldest,(no rings around the backing on the rear of the rivets), so they're all roughly '79->'82-ish, they are all Button code "524", you may need to maximize the image to see the way they are stitched around the edges, they also all have a chain stitch on the pocket opening. Nice and neat and uniform.

20190308_152017.jpg

20190308_152022.jpg

Edited by 501XX4EVER

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Part 2, now looking at the coin pockets of my 3 pairs with the "653" Button code, all non-selvedge, the one on the left is from '82, the other 2 are both from '83, all of them fairly wacko when compared to the earlier selvedge ones and also, the pocket openings are all single stitch. Again, you might need to maximize the pictures to see what I'm getting at. It's a completely different way of doing something fairly simple and standard on a 5 pocket jean, roughly within the same time period as the others but at a different factory.

 

20190308_151436.jpg

20190308_151540.jpg

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Posted (edited)

that's fascinating

I was told by one guy who was attempting to standardise new templates for the Scottish-made jeans in the early 80s, that the previous guides were simply worn by high-volume use, I can't remember what they were made from but I think thin wood or ply.

The Scottish plant previous made flares or what have you, then started making the European 501 with Cone fabric (ring/OE) around 1981. There's a lovely little story on the Dundee plant which explains the risks of copper rivets here.

Levi's Dundee.png

Edited by Paul T

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Paul T said:

that's fascinating

I was told by one guy who was attempting to standardise new templates for the Scottish-made jeans in the early 80s, that the previous guides were simply worn by high-volume use, I can't remember what they were made from but I think thin wood or ply.

The Scottish plant previous made flares or what have you, then started making the European 501 with Cone fabric (ring/OE) around 1981. There's a lovely little story on the Dundee plant which explains the risks of copper rivets here.

Levi's Dundee.png

Interesting and, I don't know, weird, that the factory was still there as late as 2002, but why am I a bit terrified reading about their nights out??? They sound mental.

I meant to take a picture of a particularly weird feature on one of the selvedge pairs but it will wait until tomorrow, I will also try to get a picture of the difference in the back pockets as I think 2 of "653" ones are much nicer in terms of the shape and the curve of the arcs than the older selvedge pairs.

Edited by 501XX4EVER

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Posted (edited)

The aforementioned weird feature on one of the selvedge pairs of 501's from the "524" factory, the center rear belt loop is made from a piece of selvedge denim??? Hard to get a good picture of it but here's the best I could do...

 

20190309_152636.jpg

20190309_152548.jpg

20190309_152515.jpg

Edited by 501XX4EVER

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Posted (edited)

Again, just to show the difference's in the patterns used from factory to factory during roughly the same time period.

Part One, as before 3 pairs from the "524" factory, all selvedge and the sizes left to right are 35x38->36x40->35x38...

All fairly consistent, slight difference in the arcs...

20190309_151835.jpg

Edited by 501XX4EVER

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Posted (edited)

Part two, the "653" factory, sizes 35x36->36x36->36x36...

Definitely a different pattern and I think the arcs are a bit nicer...

20190309_152312.jpg

 

Edited by 501XX4EVER

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Awesome posts.  Love the "lightning bolt" in those coin pockets above.

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11 hours ago, HGS said:

Awesome posts.  Love the "lightning bolt" in those coin pockets above.

Cheers, yes, it's also weird that 2 of them decided to do the "lightning bolt" thing and the other one didn't, 3 pairs from the same factory, from roughly the same time.:huh2::huh2::huh2:

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I sure have enjoyed your photos. From my understanding, industrial seamstress (sewing machinist/sewing machine operator) careers started at the apprenticeship level with the more basic tasks of assisting "cutters", and installing rivets & buttons and eventually progressing in ability to be trusted with fabricating belt loops and back pockets and cinches. These latter pieces were most likely made in quantity and staged in bins to be distributed as needed by the journeyman seamstresses who actually created the pants (and eventually the tasks became automated belt-loops and pocket setters). So it would be expected that there is much variation in the cut of these accessories even though there would have been a specific pattern identified by a #. 

From my experience in industrial settings, it was not surprising to see a quantity of a certain pattern or component made in such large numbers that when a new design was introduced (for example, a new model year) the previously sewn accessories (or manufactured components) would simply by incorporated in the new construction until they were gone. So the remaining 1954 back pocket would be found on a 1955 pant when the transition to a new pattern was first introduced.

The various pocket characteristics you have included in your photos would be a great example not only of the worn out machinery described in someone's earlier post but also of the handiwork of multiple apprentices in the early stages of their craft attempting to become familiar with the fabric, cutters, folds, presses, etc. A difference between factories would be expected as a further result of the human element. It would even be expected to see differences in the handiwork between a day and night shift at the same factory since there is almost always a rivalry/competitive pride between the 2 or 3 shifts.

The belt loop of selvedge probably has a similar story. A bulk order of selvedge belt loops was completed (lets say for an LVC line) but that particular one fell under a table and was misplaced or fell from the bin. It was later picked up and tossed in a bin of belt loops from projectile loom denim. 

I can remember as a kid with my brothers, going to the Army/Navy Surplus and a couple of Men's Shops to get my new STF for the upcoming school year. There was such limited uniformity in dimensions that we would pay almost no attention to the Waist & Inseam measurements on the tags but instead would just grab a stack of pants and start trying them on one after the other. Those that fit too big would be handed over to my older brothers and those that were to small to my younger. Us younger kids would get two pair of STF since we also had my older siblings "hand-me-downs" and my older brothers would get 3-4 pair. Anyway, the variations in the fit were so great that it would seldom result that even two of our pairs were tagged the same size.

But as I think about it, the Army/Navy Surplus typically sold "Irregulars" so that might account for some of the variation. My guess is these Irregulars were the handiwork of newer machine operators who had not yet developed the skillset to produce consistency. It must have been something to work on the production floor of those factories and to hear the various machines hum away and the smell of cotton, dyes & machinery lubricants permeate the air...and probably having to scrub off the indigo from the hands at the end of shift.

Anyway, great photos. You must have quite a collection.

 

Edited by Pedro

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hard to imagine that a sewing operator would design the layout of a mass-production line. especially, in such a cut-throat environment as a US sewing factory - even in the 60's, 70's and 80's.
but then, you never know...

the coin pockets variations look like substandard work, which was deemed acceptable as it was a non-visible and would have only be detected by the in-house quality check - and they might not have cared. the shoddy work did help saving a cent or two - if only by avoiding re-work.
back pockets are highly visible (including arcs) and were standardized in shape, position and execution - often supported by the use of templates, positioning devices and automated machinery.

I can imagine that some variations between factories are not only due to production line layout, but also due to the patterns used. those are standard blocks and patterns, but in early days (the period before and during the early days of CAD technology & cut-plotters) pattern grading, production markers, paper patterns, cardboard patterns and sewing templates was tricky business and often left to the factories.

don't forget - during those days they (L.) got themselves with the back to the wall facing syndicated buyers dictating wholesale prices and rebates...and there goes quality control (exit stage).

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4 hours ago, Pedro said:

The belt loop of selvedge probably has a similar story. A bulk order of selvedge belt loops was completed (lets say for an LVC line) but that particular one fell under a table and was misplaced or fell from the bin. It was later picked up and tossed in a bin of belt loops from projectile loom denim.

The only problem with that theory is the L.V.C. did not exist when that particular pair were made, in roughly 1980 ->1982. Also, I have never seen any L.V.C. pairs with a selvedge belt loop, it's just not something that any pair of jeans from any era actually needs. It's even more unnecessary then selvedge in the coin pockets. The main reason for the posts was to show that in the various factories weird shit happened from time to time and there was really no rhyme or reason to any of it.

On juke_kakui's instagram page he has many great examples of this kinda stuff including this on a pair of 517's...

31694883_177082949617439_716147117421022

 

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2 hours ago, Foxy2 said:

hard to imagine that a sewing operator would design the layout of a mass-production line. especially, in such a cut-throat environment as a US sewing factory - even in the 60's, 70's and 80's.
but then, you never know...

the coin pockets variations look like substandard work, which was deemed acceptable as it was a non-visible and would have only be detected by the in-house quality check - and they might not have cared. the shoddy work did help saving a cent or two - if only by avoiding re-work.
back pockets are highly visible (including arcs) and were standardized in shape, position and execution - often supported by the use of templates, positioning devices and automated machinery.

I can imagine that some variations between factories are not only due to production line layout, but also due to the patterns used. those are standard blocks and patterns, but in early days (the period before and during the early days of CAD technology & cut-plotters) pattern grading, production markers, paper patterns, cardboard patterns and sewing templates was tricky business and often left to the factories.

don't forget - during those days they (L.) got themselves with the back to the wall facing syndicated buyers dictating wholesale prices and rebates...and there goes quality control (exit stage).

In the words of Robert Duvall in "Gone in 60 Seconds"..."Uh, wait a minute, whoa, hold on".  

Foxy2, did you just strawman me?  ;-) 

At no time did I mean to imply that a sewing operator would design the layout of a mass-production line. In fact, I just re-read my post and I don't see how such a conclusion was drawn?  I would say that as mass-production lines evolved over the 150-year Levi history, that the collective input of sewing operators has been given consideration but likely moreso early in the history of the industry. There is an old saying for those who continue to perform physical work for a living..."if you want to find the easiest way to do something then assign the task to the laziest guy/gal". Ofcourse, this is a jest but at it's heart is some truth. It would be surprising if floor personnel did not make requests of the floor managers to modify simple tasks or methodology. These requests would likely have been made in the hopes of cutting down on repetitive use injuries by labor or to increase their production when they were paid by "piecework" and considered on a case-by-case basis by managers. Those ideas that were accepted would then be considered in future floor designs. I have found this evolution to continue to this day in building trades but less so in Industries such as a factory floor that benefit the most by computerized models.

I would say a "cut throat" environment is exactly why personnel are encouraged to make suggestions. We see it today with efforts to make the workplace safer but profit has always been the reason. An employee, in the case above, a "sewing operator" brings up an idea at a union or employee meeting or possibly to the floor manager which then passes it up the chain of command, handed to safety officers, engineers, and bean counters for review and if it meets approval then it is implemented. 

Coin pockets vs Back Pockets. Yes, coin pockets were of lower priority for the reason you stated and would have been assigned to less experienced personnel. I would not describe it as "shoddy" work but rather indicative of "inexperienced" workers. Shoddy denotes that the worker had the ability to do better but chose to be sloppy while inexperienced is only that. The production floor would have always had individuals of all experience levels and assigned tasks are based on experience to allow for the apprentices' continued development within their craft.

I enjoyed where you wrote: "Back pockets are highly visible (including arcs) and were standardized in shape, position and execution - often supported by the use of templates, positioning devices and automated machinery." YES. Absolutely. This was actually what I suggested a few pages back that seemed to receive some pushback (i.e. standardized shapes, position, execution, templates).

Could you describe further the "tricky business" of cardboard patterns and sewing templates? What makes them tricky? It seems to me that the "tricky" part is attempting to motivate people to change and this would have been the biggest handicap when implementing a modification to the various factory floors. 

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11 minutes ago, 501XX4EVER said:

The only problem with that theory is the L.V.C. did not exist when that particular pair were made, in roughly 1980 ->1982. Also, I have never seen any L.V.C. pairs with a selvedge belt loop, it's just not something that any pair of jeans from any era actually needs. It's even more unnecessary then selvedge in the coin pockets. The main reason for the posts was to show that in the various factories weird shit happened from time to time and there was really no rhyme or reason to any of it.

On juke_kakui's instagram page he has many great examples of this kinda stuff including this on a pair of 517's...

31694883_177082949617439_716147117421022

 

 

Well excuse me for saying that sounds a bit pedantic.

LVC did not need to exist in 1980. All that was required was that some old selvedge fabric remnants were found in storage and utilized in an effort to keep costs down. I mean look at the color of the thread on the back of that belt loop. How does it compare to the color of the thread on the other belt loops on that same pair of britches? If it doesn't match then I am going to hazard a guess that it was sewn at an earlier time for a different line of pants but was lost, forgotten, misplaced until this pair was sewn.

I agree completely that "weird shit happens from time to time". I am just saying that some of it is maybe not so weird when you think of it from the factory floor.

Edited by Pedro

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4 hours ago, Foxy2 said:

the coin pockets variations look like substandard work, which was deemed acceptable as it was a non-visible and would have only be detected by the in-house quality check - and they might not have cared. the shoddy work did help saving a cent or two - if only by avoiding re-work.

I presume you are referring to the "653" coin pockets there and the only reason I would disagree with that is when you see them up close there does actually seem to be method to the madness, the other reason would be the pair in the center and the pair on the right are not only from the same year ('83), factory  ("653"), they are also from the same month, if you can believe it.To me it definitely looks like they just had a different pattern for coin pockets at that particular time.

Edit as I found a better example of coin pocket madness from juke_kakui's instagram page, it really is a wonderful resource. These are a WW 2 pair, S501XX...

13181533_146279352444154_805434270_n.jpg

I presume the same pair from the inside...

11931233_225051944515252_1927469224_n.jp

Edited by 501XX4EVER

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We know there was a range of templates at the same time, because my Scottish friend and Levi's Europe attempted to track them down and did obtain some. I don't know how much of the internal stitching etc was operator initiative but I would guess a lot of it was because I see that even now in the short run lines they have in San Francisco. One woman will be seen as constructing the definitive pocket stitching and it's handed down from one to the next. Then in different factories there will be different traditions.

I can't remember what the word is for all the 'bits" - ie coin pockets, belt loops etc - but these were especially different between factories. So while a new cut might ripple through the production lines fairly quickly, those other pieces might be updated in a different way.

Unfortunately I don't have my complete notes from Alan Joy, the fella who helped set up the Scottish produciton line and was then a consultant to LVC when it started in the 90s, but he did say there was a lot of argument about what a particular model of 501 should be, simply because there were such conflicting examples to choose from, and the US and European LVC both had very different opinions, even on a cut for a particular year.

 

It's a shame, I would love to have tracked down a bunch of operators from the 70s and 80s and quiz them about how knowledge was handed down, it would make great oral history too... I pitched a more detailed denim book where I could cover that social/technical history but couldn't get a good enough offer to do it properly.



 

Edited by Paul T

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9 hours ago, Pedro said:

In the words of Robert Duvall in "Gone in 60 Seconds"..."Uh, wait a minute, whoa, hold on".  

Foxy2, did you just strawman me?  ;-) 

At no time did I mean to imply that a sewing operator would design the layout of a mass-production line. In fact, I just re-read my post and I don't see how such a conclusion was drawn?  I would say that as mass-production lines evolved over the 150-year Levi history, that the collective input of sewing operators has been given consideration but likely moreso early in the history of the industry. There is an old saying for those who continue to perform physical work for a living..."if you want to find the easiest way to do something then assign the task to the laziest guy/gal". Ofcourse, this is a jest but at it's heart is some truth. It would be surprising if floor personnel did not make requests of the floor managers to modify simple tasks or methodology. These requests would likely have been made in the hopes of cutting down on repetitive use injuries by labor or to increase their production when they were paid by "piecework" and considered on a case-by-case basis by managers. Those ideas that were accepted would then be considered in future floor designs. I have found this evolution to continue to this day in building trades but less so in Industries such as a factory floor that benefit the most by computerized models.

I would say a "cut throat" environment is exactly why personnel are encouraged to make suggestions. We see it today with efforts to make the workplace safer but profit has always been the reason. An employee, in the case above, a "sewing operator" brings up an idea at a union or employee meeting or possibly to the floor manager which then passes it up the chain of command, handed to safety officers, engineers, and bean counters for review and if it meets approval then it is implemented. 

Coin pockets vs Back Pockets. Yes, coin pockets were of lower priority for the reason you stated and would have been assigned to less experienced personnel. I would not describe it as "shoddy" work but rather indicative of "inexperienced" workers. Shoddy denotes that the worker had the ability to do better but chose to be sloppy while inexperienced is only that. The production floor would have always had individuals of all experience levels and assigned tasks are based on experience to allow for the apprentices' continued development within their craft.

I enjoyed where you wrote: "Back pockets are highly visible (including arcs) and were standardized in shape, position and execution - often supported by the use of templates, positioning devices and automated machinery." YES. Absolutely. This was actually what I suggested a few pages back that seemed to receive some pushback (i.e. standardized shapes, position, execution, templates).

Could you describe further the "tricky business" of cardboard patterns and sewing templates? What makes them tricky? It seems to me that the "tricky" part is attempting to motivate people to change and this would have been the biggest handicap when implementing a modification to the various factory floors. 

I didn't mean to imply that you did (& sorry if it came out like that) - I just took the idea and ran with it...actually, in the early days a lot of the IE (Industrial Engineering) team member used to be former sewing operators. but since the 70's and 80's that is no longer true - at least for the countries I can speak for (Europe & Asia). Work Study in the garment industry has been around for some time by now.

Also, I am strictly speaking Garment Manufacturing Industry - wouldn't know too much about circumstances and evolution in other industries.(although, a lot of the principles and methodologies came for non-related industries.)

this also brings to mind an episode from one of my previous employers - I used to work for internationally operating German menswear company and one day they bought a US plant. we were shocked about the existing quality standards and struggled for the longest time to make that plant work...part of the difficulties were certainly rooted in culture, cultural back ground and insensitive approach.

shoddy work does not blame the inexperienced sewing operator but the line manager or production floor manager to allow this to happen and/or to be used. doing piece work with un-trained operators is dangerous, certainly against labor laws/union regulations/safety standards and counter-productive for sewing operator training.

back in the old days pattern drafting was done by hand on paper. standard patterns and templates were often made from heavy cardboard - the curves, splines and edges were sanded down. factories were given sets and those were used extensively. factories had to make replacements at their own expense for deteriorating pieces by copying those. some of these copies certainly have ended-up being worse.
paper pattern making and grading used to be a skill - CAD technology did change certain parts of the industry differently. grading often became simplified and/or worse in fit. a lot of the old experts couldn't make the transition from manual to computer-aided - know-how got lost and the resulting product often did suffer.

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12 hours ago, 501XX4EVER said:

I presume you are referring to the "653" coin pockets there and the only reason I would disagree with that is when you see them up close there does actually seem to be method to the madness, the other reason would be the pair in the center and the pair on the right are not only from the same year ('83), factory  ("653"), they are also from the same month, if you can believe it.To me it definitely looks like they just had a different pattern for coin pockets at that particular time.

Edit as I found a better example of coin pocket madness from juke_kakui's instagram page, it really is a wonderful resource. These are a WW 2 pair, S501XX...

13181533_146279352444154_805434270_n.jpg

...

great example - the inner sewing line being curved is part of "there is method in the madness" - the outer sewing line is the issue: no trained, professional sewing operator in piece work would be willing or allowed this degree of inaccuracy in distance to fabric edge. sewn with a "hot needle"...

this may happen with untrained sewing operators, no skill training and no quality control system in place.

Edited by Foxy2

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54 minutes ago, Paul T said:

...

I can't remember what the word is for all the 'bits" - ie coin pockets, belt loops etc - but these were especially different between factories. So while a new cut might ripple through the production lines fairly quickly, those other pieces might be updated in a different way.
...

pre-assembly?

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16 minutes ago, Foxy2 said:

pre-assembly?

It's something like "bit parts" but not that, I know it's mentioned a couple of times in the 689 pages of this thread.

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2 hours ago, Paul T said:

I pitched a more detailed denim book where I could cover that social/technical history but couldn't get a good enough offer to do it properly.

I would buy that!

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