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Denim Japan - Denim Italy

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What is the diff between this 2 raw denim that ppl are talking about???Which quality is better?

I hope the expert can give sum opinion.

life begin at 180 kmh,many men dies but not many really live

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not necessarily anything. however I do believe that the "best" mills are in japan, but you can't judge something just by looking at where it's made.

why did you post this here though...

SOME GIRLS ARE BIGGER THAN OTHERS

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i post becoz theres a thread arguing about the denim made in japan or made in italy!!

I POST BECOZ I DUNNO THE ANSWER,....

life begin at 180 kmh,many men dies but not many really live

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Diesel's Old Glory range used denim from Legler in Italy, while Orta Mills in Turkey produce very nice ring ring denim for the BlueBell reissues. But there's more choice in Japanese mills, which produce shorter runs for the boutique manufacturers, which is probably why they're perceived as higher quality.

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To somewhat echoing Paul's post...

The quality of denim from the best mass producers in Japan & Italy is excellent and in many respects, similar.

To illustrate this point, many big denim brands will use denim from Japan and Italy (and fabric from other countries that produce high quality denim, such as Spain, Greece & Turkey) side by side in the same collections and the vast majority of their customers will be unable to distinguish between the geographical origins of each denim used.

For example, go look at a big jeans collection like that of Diesel and see if you can tell which country each particular denim they have used comes from.

What has Japan over Italy, is a strata of tiny volume, artisan production, (including cultivation of varieties of indigo plant ) particularly for the it's domestic, specialist, dry denim market.

In Italy, like almost everywhere else in the world, this market does not exist (or rather, the fanbase is miniscule). So there's no denim production to support it. But that's a tiny percentage of the global denim production.

Japan & Italy = both very good.

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thanxs for d info,paul n ring ring(being waiting for your comment actually).

Most denim maker in japan produce selvage denim/dry denim-maybe the trend is more toward.

life begin at 180 kmh,many men dies but not many really live

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I think the vast majority of denim produced in Japan is not 'selvage' (ie most of the denim does not come from shuttle looms).

The production of selvedge denim (or 'Cimosati' as Italians call it or 'tessuti a navetta' - shuttle loom fabric), is a tradition Italy has in common with Japan. In fact, selvedge production is increasing in Italy, with TRC just introducing around 50 new shuttle looms.

Still, the vast majority of denim produced by both countries will be non-shuttle loom denim, and despite the dry denim trend (which is magnified on this discussion forum), for both economic and ease-of-wearing reasons, the market for dry selvedge denim is very small in comparison to washed denim.

For instance, to replicate dry/selvage looks, you'll see a lot of companies doing dark, rinse wash, resin finishes (the resin serves to create a dry hand feel and prevent indigo crocking all over the place), and contrast colour bindings/high density overlocking to give a neat 'selvedge-look' to the outside leg seams.

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I think the vast majority of denim produced in Japan is not 'selvage' (ie most of the denim does not come from shuttle looms).

The production of selvedge denim (or 'Cimosati' as Italians call it or 'tessuti a navetta' - shuttle loom fabric), is a tradition Italy has in common with Japan. In fact, selvedge production is increasing in Italy, with TRC just introducing around 50 new shuttle looms.

Still, the vast majority of denim produced by both countries will be non-shuttle loom denim, and despite the dry denim trend (which is magnified on this discussion forum), for both economic and ease-of-wearing reasons, the market for dry selvedge denim is very small in comparison to washed denim.

For instance, to replicate dry/selvage looks, you'll see a lot of companies doing dark, rinse wash, resin finishes (the resin serves to create a dry hand feel and prevent indigo crocking all over the place), and contrast colour bindings/high density overlocking to give a neat 'selvedge-look' to the outside leg seams.

A lot of countries produce superb quality denim now.

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I wonder how long it will be till we see a company boasting that its fabric is from somewhere else and that Japan is over for denim!

I hate how some jeans just inject the word japanese into the description of thier jeans as if that makes up for all kinds of poor construction etc..

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the ingredient of the denim itself i think play an important role for the denim quality..

life begin at 180 kmh,many men dies but not many really live

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from sum article,maybe sum of u hv read it.This is just for info.

-Little did jeans manufacturers know 20 years ago that the future of their industry was actually in the past, namely, in disused shuttle looms. Japanese denim producers, too, could not have envisioned their meteoric rise to the top of the high-end jeans market when they dusted off the long-forgotten equipment all those years ago, searching as they were for a way to make authentic vintage jeans. But rise they did as a growing number of consumers started to share their passion for old-style jeans.

Entrepreneur Yoshiyuki Hayashi was 31 when he launched the Denime brand in 1988. His goal was to recreate the classic American jeans from the 1950s. Hayashi's obsession led him to Okayama Prefecture, a traditional cotton weaving area also known for its indigo dying and denim production. He asked numerous textile makers whether they could produce a denim of unusual quality-rough, stiff and shrinks when washed-opposed to the smooth, even-textured jeans that populated the market at the time. His fortunes turned when he found Shinya, a textile maker located in Ibara, whose then president Masahiro Sato suggested recreating the garments using a shuttle loom collecting dust in the corner of his shop. Such looms nearly became obsolete after jeans exploded onto the fashion scene in Japan in the 1970s, ushering in the use of more efficient looms.

Sato restored his shuttle loom and experimented until he finally reproduced a denim that matched a sample given to him by Hayashi. Hayashi and Sato were not alone in their quest to create the perfect pair of vintage jeans. The 1980s saw a surge of interest in vintage jeans, which attracted a number of enterprising individuals to the scene, including Shigeharu Tagaki, who designed jeans for the Studio D'Artisan brand in 1982 and is considered one of the architects behind today's vintage jeans fad. He recalls how difficult it was at the time to get started.

"We would hear about a shuttle loom, but then it would turn out to be a machine that could only produce kimono fabric," the 58-year-old said. "And when we finally found a real one, the owners would say, `We'll only accept orders of a minimum 3,000 meters.'" Another pioneer in the field, Mikiharu Tsujita, 38, established the Fullcount brand in 1992. Through the mediation of textile maker Collect Co. of Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture, Tsujita also tapped Shinya for denim. Collect's managing director, Masahiro Suwaki, says making the denim for brands like Fullcount was a labor of love that paid off in the end. "Textile producers had to revive the techniques they had discarded in the name of efficiency during a prolonged downturn," said Suwaki. "It was hard, but we learned a lot about high-end denim manufacturing."

Hidehiko Yamane, who founded the Evisu brand, shares the obsession for quality vintage jeans. "I wanted to make classy jeans using only domestic resources," he said. After recreating the fabric's vintage textures, the pioneers went on to produce the faded look of well-worn jeans. Sable Co. in Fukuyama, Hiroshima Prefecture, developed functioning models of the body from the hips down that literally wear the jeans to ensure that wrinkles-and the discoloration-appear in places such as the joints that are first to fade naturally. By the mid-1990s, Japanese jeans started to find a following at home and abroad, despite being priced at over 20,000 yen a pair.

The interest soon prompted other denim producers to revive shuttle looms, including major manufacturers, and the techniques that originated in Japan are now a global standard. One stroke of luck for the Japanese producers was that jeans makers in the United States lacked not only shuttle looms but the skilled workers to operate such machinery, as the country had shifted to mass-production much earlier than Japan. That meant Japanese textile makers were well-positioned to reap the fruit of their labor. After taking over Shinya from his father in 1996, Yoshiaki Sato sold all the high-tech looms at his p

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.

Good stuff... thanks for posting it

.

Interesting point that it was the rise in interest in vintage jeans (in the late 1980s/early 1990s, when they became scarce because companies like Levis had abandoned selvage some years earlier) coupled with the Japanese economic downturn which led Japanese textile companies like Shinya to consider doing small runs of specialised denim for 'boutique' jeans manufacturers like Studio D', Full Count, Evisu, etc.

.

Also interesting that, contrary to what has been posted elsewhere, selvage is not solely produced on antique shuttle looms, of which no more are available (the old stories about Cone Mills' shuttle looms finding their way here and there...). New shuttle looms have been and continue to be made, so we can expect an increase in selvage production in the future.

.

Edited by frideswide on Dec 8, 2005 at 11:08 AM

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Cool posts. Thanks.

I think there's fascinating stories to be uncovered all over the world about jeans. eg. Why & when, did Cone retire their shuttle looms, the repeated stories about Evis using 'old Levi's looms', the rise of european denim mills (belgium, spain, italy, greece, turkey etc), the history of industrial distressing, denim in north africa & south america, china, india & bangladesh...*throws a cough in the direction of PaulT*

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There is a lot more to be told - like ringring, I find the stories of finishing intriguing, because that's never covered. I believe it was Martelli, then from Bologna, who initiated much of the accurate looking-wear and distressing we see today, for Replay and Diesel. But the whole loom thing is a big question. As I've said repeatedly, while I'm sure there are some antique looms in Japan, I believe most of the importatn Evisu and Edwin jeans were made on Japanese looms, quite probably Toyoda, who became one of the world's leading loom producers by the 1930s. Most early Evis denim was made by Kurabo, and no-one I know who's been there has seen any old American looms. And I know that the claim of using 'old Levi's looms' comes from Yamame at Evis, because he told me directly - and then modified the claim when I questioned him further, to say they were 'traditional-style looms'. Not to denigrate him, though, because he did popularise the whole notion of high quality, ringring selvage denim at a time when it could have died out.

As for Cone retiring their shuttle looms, it can only have been for cost reasons! Not just the more efficient fabric production, but also maintenance, and the number of staff required. I have also seen documents that indicate there were other changes in the denim that Levi's didn't make public.

In case anyone doesn't know, LVC have often used premium Japanese denim for particular reissues. The rather excellent Nevada Mine reissues used natural indigo denim from Kurabo; I wouldn't be surprised if the Indigo Immortal did too; some of their Lady Levi's use Sanforized selvage from Kaihara.

I'd be interested to hear if anyone here knows whether all 501s still use Cone denim. I know LS&Co were considering other suppliers, but don't know if they ever went through with it.

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Here's a Toyoda shuttle loom in action along with the shuttle itself in its wooden case:

syatoruki1.jpgsyatoru.jpg

This one owned by the Okamoto Textile Company, located down in Ibaraichi in Okayama prefecture --- typical of the smaller textile companies catering to independent jeans makers (total number of employees: 10!). They do their own rope-dying and have several shuttle looms to accommodate the small runs required by their customers. The total annual turnover of the company is less than USD 4million, so it is really an artisanal type of business.

Here you can see many different looms at work:

syokki3.jpg

Like they say in the Jack Daniels' adverts: if you ever find yourself passing through Ibaraichi, do drop in and say hello...

Best, taskashi

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Apropos of Paul's post above, here's a photo of a Toyoda shuttle loom in action (along with the shuttle itself)

syatoruki1.jpgsyatoru.jpg

This one is owned by the Okamoto Textile Company down in Ibaraichi in Okayama prefecture --- typical of the smaller textile companies which cater to independent jeans manufacturers (total number of employees: 10!). They do their own rope-dying and have 9 or 10 shuttle looms (as well as rapier looms) to accommodate the different needs of their customers.

Here is a room full of various looms at work:

syokki3.jpg

As they say in the Jack Daniels' adverts, if you ever find your self passing through Ibaraichi, do drop in and say hello..

best, takashi

Edited by takashi on Dec 12, 2005 at 09:33 AM

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Just to chip in. There seems to be a belief that shuttle loom denim is "superior" in quality to wide loom denim, certainly among many (usually self-assured) cognoscenti of high end jeans. There are examples of poorer quality shuttle loom fabric as well, from the likes of manufacturers like Kurabo, for instance. Most of these big suppliers sell at different price points, from barely "passable" selvage denim to top of the range wide loom fabric. The skills and resources required to produce shuttle loom denim can be significant, but that does not by itself guarantee that the finished product will be superior in all respects to the wide loom equivalent selling at the same price point. Rest assured the adage that you get what you pay for applies to denim as well.

As for the comment about Martelli, I believe Adriano Goldschmied spearheaded the whole pre-washed/pre-distressed movement, in conjunction with Martelli. In fact AG was so successful that his team went on to design Gap's 1969 range as well.

Edited by Lex2 on Dec 12, 2005 at 12:39 PM

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The study of the looms themselves is a wonderful one, but i started wondering, how many of the mills around, if any, still have Toyoda Type-G's still working? Being manufactured in 1924 it would be amazing if someone had one! Not to mention the denim made on one.

Actually when i come to think of it, isn't that one on BiG's Oni article?

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I found a picture on the Ingenious website (www.ingenous.org.uk) and it looks

like its the same one used in the BiG's Oni article (great article btw), so i'm left

wondering if thats just a musem piece or if it is actually in use in a mill.

And correct me if i'm wrong but it seems like the "shuttles" themselves are

the same in both the old Type G and the new one pictured in that article?

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As i understand it Toyoda Automatic looms are all type G's but the mills i know of (Inohara, Kuroki) has Type G9 looms. Inohara has 20 or so sets, don't know the number at Kuroki.

I also do believe that most of the other Japanese mills use Toyoda looms because

fiding spare parts is pretty easy.

There is one Toyoda Automatic Type G from 1924 i know of and it sits in the Toyoda

museum (not sure of its proper name) in Japan.

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.

Also interesting that, contrary to what has been posted elsewhere, selvage is not solely produced on antique shuttle looms, of which no more are available (the old stories about Cone Mills' shuttle looms finding their way here and there...). New shuttle looms have been and continue to be made, so we can expect an increase in selvage production in the future.

.

Edited by frideswide on Dec 8, 2005 at 11:08 AM

I'm surprised anyone ever thought that the supply of something so simple to make as an industrial textile machine would ever significantly dry up. You can always rebuild them, so long as you have enough steel and the tools to assemble them. :)

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^^ depends on the price of certain things really, like that old material Bakelite, which is now mad expensive to make compared to that of modern day plastics n stuff.

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This thread definitely needs a bump! Some valuable information is written here.

I’m also going to add a question: How much of these old looms are there and I mean the ones that are still alive and active? Hundreds? Thousands? More?

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Very interesting bump - partly because, having done more research, and having visited Cone, the Kurabo Museum and Nihon Menpu, I now know a lot more. I think I'll update on my blog soonish but..

1: a very few mills are still running the Toyota Type G. This is the first mass market Japanese looms. Nihon Menpu still run around 20 Type G. I know Kurabo did have many Type Gs, and I suspect they still do. Mills seem to be very secretive about the Type G in particular.

2: there is a huge installation of later Toyoda and other makes (including Sakamoto) from later dates, I would guess the 1950s. I believe that some of these also produce wider selvage denim, and might even be adjustable (I've tried to find out first hand but hit translation problems). I don't really believe that these were ever put out of use in the way that Cone's Draper looms were - but of course not that many were weaving denim in the early 80s.

To return to an earlier point about the superiority of shuttle weaving. The mills do believe that the earlier looms, ie the Type G, produce superior quality to the later ones. In essence, it's because they weave more slowly and produce fewer internal tensions in the fabric. This is affected, too, even by how you wind the yarns onto the spindle. The Japanese call this "gentle weaving".

Here's the Type G in operation

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=1SBxxlbeMgU

Edited by Paul T

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I would guess that there will be 100 Type G around the place. Perhaps many more. The Type G was produced under licence by PRatt Brothers - who, incidentally, supplied all the early equipment to Kurabo in the 1890s. There could well be some Pratt Type G in the UK!

As for the later ones... mills have more of these, my (wild) guess would be that the number is over 1,000 when you consider there are many in China, Thailand, etc, as well as Japan.

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Mills seem to be very secretive about the Type G in particular.

Why is that? Isnt that like hiding the fact that your denim is, for example, hand-made?

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Kurabo don't let people in to their mill - Nihon Menpu, who are very hospitable, allow photos of other looms but not their Model G. Could well be because theirs are modified or set up in a particular way.

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