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dilemmaworker

CANTONⓇ

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Canton is supposedly the first Japanese denim brand, established in 1963 and at some point went bankrupt. Japanese retailer 1LDK is now bringing back the brand -- below copied from their blog:

“POP UP CANTON®OVERALLS at 1LDK PARIS”

“CANTON®OVERALLS” 

“The POP-UP of  Japanese Denim Brand CANTON®OVERALLS revival of the legendary XX Denim. “
CANTON-2-1.jpg

CANTONⓇ produced the very 1st Japan made Jeans in 1963

CANTONⓇ is a pioneer Jeans brand based in Japan – making Jeans with imported genuine U.S. made material and using the UNION SPECIAL sewing machine.They are authentic in every single detail with their TALON zips and SCOVILL rivets.

In 2008, around half a century, CANTONⓇ changed their brand name to CANTON OVERALLSⓇ to make a fresh start.Clothing needs to be seen as a daily tool based on work wear. Pursuing practicality leads to user-friendly ideas, removing unnecessary details and thus creating unique designs and specs.This will definitely become a good tool to be passed on to the next generation.This is the sprit of the former CANTONⓇ, and we make our clothing based on this philosophy.

About XX Denim
XX Denim (Double-X Denim) stands for denim produced by two US textile companies, Amoskeag and Cone Mills, from the late 1800s till 1960s. The stream of technical innovations in the 20th century left a tremendous impact on the textile industry, bringing forward various generations of XX denims with different appearances and textures. The existing, unwashed fabrics called “Dead” have also developed different looks depending on storage environments across the ages.

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ref:http://canton.jp/1963xx/

We 1LDK PARIS are luckily having an opportunity to bring the legendary first Japanese denim brand to our store. It is not just only the ages they have had but during half of the century they have spent, they were experiencing the invention and evolution  in their work.

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http://1ldkshop.com/blog-paris/

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Posted (edited)

AFAIK, Canton was the brand created by Canton Mills,  Maruo Clothing and Oishi Trading to sell the first batches of jeans made in Japan. 

After Canton Mills was shut down the brand has changed hands a few times. None of the later iterations really have anything to do with Canton Mills or Maruo Clothing or Oishi Trading. The closest brands to this origin of Japanese denim would be Big John (Maruo Clothing), or perhaps Oni (founded by Oishi's son).

 

Modern Canton stuff are Canton in trademark only. 

Edited by mikecch
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cool Mike! I was also told that the owner of one of the mills under the Collect umbrella was the son of the Canton fabric weaver (I guess Canton Mills?). 

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Wow, I didn't know that. Canton Mills was American though, and they had heaps of looms and workers. 

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6 hours ago, mikecch said:

Wow, I didn't know that. Canton Mills was American though, and they had heaps of looms and workers. 

huh. Well I guess the plot thickens... maybe I misunderstood, or maybe the guy's father was doing the JP side garment work, or they could have set up Japanese weaving under license? Pure conjecture, but I wonder if the mill was named for the people who ran it in the States? I know there was a lot of Chinese labour in the textile industry on the West Coast in the late 19th Century. Any idea when they were operating?

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Posted (edited)

@rodeo bill

Interesting this topic comes up now - I've been researching and writing about this as part of an upcoming review of Big John's 009 jeans. 

From what I gather, the partnership between Maruo (Japan, sewing factory), Oishi (Japan, trading) and Canton (USA, textile mill) began in 1965, but really only lasted a couple of years or so. 

Maruo went on to create their own brand in Big John in 1967, using Cone denim and later Japanese denims. 

Canton Textile Mills began in 1899, with the first mill built in 1900. It was named after the city of Canton, Georgia, USA where the business was based. During its brief cooperation with the Japanese companies, Canton was already in decline. It closed down in 1981.

Edited by mikecch
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6 hours ago, dilemmaworker said:

So it's a Japanese brand started by an American mill named after a Chinese province. Cool!

Hehe, named after Canton city in Georgia, USA. I doubt Americans back in 1899 would name their company after Guangdong. :P

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^^great to know, and thanks so much for sharing. You're clearly correct, but it's not so unthinkable that there would have been Chinese names on early jeans:

58d6b26460c05_0.3CHEANGWOPATENT.thumb.jpg.b07210b3df7bedb91baf6920f62fc4b4.jpg

this patent was filed by Chiang Quan Wo for a workaround of the Levi's patent (credit to Jeans of the Old West by Michael Harris)

Sorry, off topic!

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