Stumbled across this post introducing (?) denim from a UK brand called Tender. If half the things they say on their website are true, this is the most obsessively small-scale thing I've heard of short of hand-weaving the fabric. They hand-dye the fiber, hand-cast all the hardware, hand-tan the leather in tan oak juice, etc. etc.
Has anybody seen a pair of these in the wild yet? They have a guidebook which is password protected. I hate being tantalized.
We've had quite a few questions and nice comments about the sunglasses, so here are some photos of the manufacturing process. These were really fun to develop, and I took a ton of photos, so apologies if this gets over-long/-enthusiastic!
Tender's sunglasses frames are made from cellulose acetate, derived from cotton pulp. This means that as well as being a natural, biodegradable product, they're hypo-allergenic. A lot of cellulose acetate for top-end frames is made from lignin (from wood pulp), but cotton pulp makes a finer material, which can take a very high polish.
The acetate sheets com like this:
there are all sorts of versions, including patterned pieces like this:
the slices are cut off solid blocks, and when the glasses are milled out of these sheets, and depending on the position of the frames shape, different patterns will show up. This is how they make mock-tortoiseshell patterns in glasses.
Tender's however, are plain black. We picked out a nice sheet, to take with the box of protos and my design specifications.
The first job is to make a pilot hole in the centre of where each lens will be:
This will be the centre point from which the front of the frames will be oriented