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Old 05-14-2010, 11:51 PM
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Ranchu's denim

Here's my first pair of raw selvedge from the US (other than the stock standard US LVCs of course).

I would rate the construction & attention to detail well up there with the niche Japanese brands. The denim is the 14oz White Oak series from Cone Mills - a tight weave with a very nice hand, and the indigo has a rich depth to it.



The leather patch is veg tanned, heavy & thick 9 oz of what I believe is some sort of bridle leather. It's been tanned in the sun a little bit by Roy himself, and I predict the leather will age very well. The letters are carved in nicely.


The hardware used are simple but sturdy. I love the black buttons, and of course very well made button holes to match them.



I love the raised belt loops - 'good' is an understatement. The loose bottom end is tucked back into the yoke - I don't remember the last time I saw that


The pocket cloth is very sturdy and has a slightly ridged texture. Roy's chain-stitch embroidery done superbly, and makes every pair unique.



More contruction details...




Fit pics:



Will be updating regularly
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Old 05-15-2010, 12:26 AM
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Yeah..I spot this brand on Denim Debate and always want to try a pair since!!!!
Nice detail and information that u provided here!!!

The fit looks great but I dont know man...its look a bit short to me.
Look foward to its progression!
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Old 05-15-2010, 01:57 AM
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Bit short? You can order your preferred inseam and Roy will cut it to that length for you.

One of my pet-hates is stepping on my jeans when I walk barefeet - that why, where possible, I hem all of my jeans so that they won't touch the ground when I stand up.
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Old 05-15-2010, 05:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ranchu View Post
One of my pet-hates is stepping on my jeans when I walk barefeet - that why, where possible, I hem all of my jeans so that they won't touch the ground when I stand up.
HA...that is completely oppsite to the way i wear my jeans..I like em to be longer so I can get stacks..

yeah...I just check ROY Denim 's official site...I wish they made skinny cuts..
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Old 05-15-2010, 07:00 AM
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I'm getting too old for stacking

I think Roy might start making different cuts later on. It's a fairly small-scale operation at the moment, so he wants to keep it simple.
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Old 05-15-2010, 09:44 AM
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Looks like you got yourself a very solid pair of jeans right there! I love the carved patch and how the name is chain stitched into the pocket bag. It's the small things like that that make a pair very special. It's too bad the patches get covered up most of the time since there is some nice work that goes into some of them.
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Old 05-15-2010, 05:55 PM
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Thanks VSwim09!

Here are another two pairs I'm working on currently~~~

This is my Pherrow's 421 when it was new (one starch wash). Pherrow's started in Japan in 1991, but has not been well known outside of Japan as Samurai's, Flat Heads, etc. In the past the companies jeans has been made under the label Stormy Blue, but since last year the jeans production has been moved under it's main label (Pherrow's, pronounced Fellow's).


I would say the 421 is a traditional slim fit. I like the back-pocket stitching on these (they call it the buffalo horn) - IMO, comparing the new stitching (after the Levi's lawsuit fiasco) of Samurai's, FH, Fullcount, SC, D'Artisan, etc - Pherrow's win!


Nice leather patch, slightly similar to the D'Artisan patches, but with a tougher grain.



Very interesting colour combo in terms of stitching! The buttons are a mixed bag too. Small complaint here - the bottom button is too close to the crotch edge, makes it a little hard to do up. But of course, the construction is magnificent, not many makers in the world can measure up to this.


It's 13.75 oz denim, weave is fairly tight, but has some variation in the texture. Feels heavier than it actually is, if you know what I mean. The Stormy Blue button is very curious - seems to form the cap of the backpocket rivet.


The flannel pocket cloths are a mixed bag as well. Not as sturdy as say, the shirt cloth on the old D'Artisan war models, but has a very comfortable, brushed texture.

Overall I think the denim & the cut are both very good. The details are very interesting, lots of variety - but may not appeal to the denim purist. I will be wearing these in very gently over the next couple of years (as a weekend jean).

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Old 05-15-2010, 06:03 PM
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Here's the 3rd pair in my current rotation~
The Wrangler Blue Bell M1112-29, reproduction of 1964 (Japanese edition) - it has a looser vintage fit with a higher waist, a nice contrast the the slim straight of the Pherrow's & Roy jeans.
I think this model was only ever produced for one year, and there was also a zipper model with the same denim released at the same time.


The sanforized denim is smooth and tightly woven, about 14 oz or a little more. The indigo is fairly dark - a similar shade to the other regular Wrangler Blue Bells.

Has a regular fit with a slight bell-bottom. Crotch stitching done with blue threads.


A big plastic patch on the right back-pocket, slightly larger & heavier duty than the ones on modern day Wranglers. Nice little Blue Bell logo to set them apart


The vintaged steel buttons are a bit smaller than I'm use to. Love the top button - with 'Wrangler' punched into the metal, and an engraved 'A2' at the back. Flattened back-pocket rivets - so they won't scratch your saddle (or furniture)


Pocket-cloth with the Blue Bell tag. The stamp on the bottom (mostly faded) reads: Sanforized Sail Cloth. Tool-Proof Pocket.


Close-up on denim, notice the interesting orange/green selvedge and the hem is not chain-stitched (which is historically accurate for Wranglers of that era).

Last edited by Ranchu; 09-19-2010 at 03:19 AM.
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Old 05-19-2010, 07:50 AM
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Its interesting that u introduced Pherrow to us..I atually bought a pair of 466 to my bro as his first pair of raw denim.

The owner of HK take5 recommended it since I told him that I want something that is not too much for a person who normally wears pre-wash and designer jeans but can give wearer the feel of rawness...

466 is made of yellow line- selvage and they were washed by a method called' Strached-Wash", which can minimise the shrinkage but keep the stiffness afterward..

hope you don't mind that I show some pics in your thread....I just kinda excited to see people talk about this brand since they are less known...


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Old 05-19-2010, 06:43 PM
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Not at all mate! I agree, the 466 is a good introduction to raw denim it has all the basic necessities (nice classic cut, good denim, same expert construction) minus the frills that only ethusiasts would be interested in.

I think most of Pherrow's denim, ever since the Stormy Blue jeans, were starch washed - I think it's a great process I wonder if I could do it at home?

Did Take5 make you pay the 'non-member' fees???
I've never bought anything from Take5, coz the membership thing kinda puts me off.
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Old 05-19-2010, 10:04 PM
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All the denim looks great. I like th stitching on the Pherrows and the grab bag of buttons. It's cool to see smaller brands outside of the well known japanese denim makers.
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Old 05-23-2010, 12:14 AM
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Don't want to clutter up this thread, but more pictures of different denim in my blog:
Indigoshrimp's Blog
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Old 07-23-2010, 08:33 AM
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Quick update on the Roy's.

It’s been around 2 months since I received my jeans from Roy, but due to assessments and other commitments I haven’t been able to wear them as much as I would have liked. Currently, my Roy jeans is in rotation with my SugarCane sc40300 (two very different experiences, I must tell you!)

Let’s begin with the fit – after an initial hot-soak and approximately 3 weeks of effective wear, the waist feels just about right – I ordered a size 36, but my true waist size is 35. The top block and thighs have also moulded into a better fit now. Also, since the initial hot-soak, I have subsequently hot-soaked the hems again just to get a bit more roping. I have a feeling that there’s still a little bit of shrink left in the denim…


In terms of the dye – I was surprised to discover that the denim became slightly darker after the initial hot-soak (compare the following pictures to the ones in the first post). In the time that I have worn them, no visible fading has occurred.

Onto the denim fabric itself – some key-words my non-denimnerd friends have used to describe my Roy jeans include: ’3-D’, ‘crisp’, ‘rough’, ‘heavy’, ‘grainy’, etc.

While the above terms are very subjective and somewhat difficult to grasp via reading this blog, I shall elaborate~ The denim itself is certainly very stubborn (it has yet to loose all it’s stiffness after 3 weeks), on par with some of the Samurai and SDA models I have come across. It certainly is very crisp, in that even after an initial 3 hour hot-soak, the creases have since then set in easily, and sharply (sometimes the honeycombs pinches the back of my knees).

I’m not sure if I would describe it as rough, but certainly the denim is not entirely smooth, small irregularities and slubs provide a subtle texture – and I attribute it’s ’3-D’ appearance to this texture, which is more apparent in natural light. The denim definitely has a deep, vivid indigo. There is also a ruggedness to the denim that makes it out to be heavier than the stated 14oz.

This White Oak Cone Mill denim that Roy used has definitely fascinated me, and I really look forward to breaking these in even more.

So far there has been no thread breaks or faults in the construction. The pockets are holding up superbly to the abuse my 420 gram crocodile wallet is inflicting upon them.

The leather patch has darkened after some oiling/waxing, and the grain on the surface has definitely expanded quite significantly. I really like how many American makers & designers are using thick, vegetable tanned leather for the patch – this is something I think is lacking (for me personally) in some of the Japanese denim brands. Anyway, Roy’s choice of leather is spot on for me; the only way it could get better is if it was elephant hide or thick bull-shoulder.

All in all, I am very glad that I got my pair of Roy’s before the mad-rush. I hope Roy finishes up the remaining orders and takes a break, sounds like he really needs it; and at the same time, I’m really anxious to see what other denim styles and garments he’ll come up with!

The long rant is on my blog:
Roy jeans follow-up 2 | Indigoshrimp's Blog
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Old 07-25-2010, 04:38 AM
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I very much enjoyed viewing this thread with the pictures and commentary Thank you for sharing this and I have your blog bookmarked to view in the future I'm currently trying to get better fashion sense for men's wear
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Old 07-27-2010, 01:40 AM
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^ Thanks But I wouldn't call the stuff I wear fashionable though... it's more nerdy than anything :P
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Old 08-13-2010, 12:35 AM
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Inspired by Roy's latest batch of leather patches, I did some DIY on mine.


And today was laundry day - Wrangler Blue Bell 1964 & LVC 1967 505:



Also got an update on my blog of the Real Japan Blues 66bspbk, which isn't in this thread:
Real Japan Blues RJB 66bspbk follow-up 2 « Indigoshrimp's Blog
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Old 09-18-2010, 02:03 AM
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Some pictures of my Roy's in natural light~





More in my blog as usual:
Roy Denim 5pc-standard in natural light « Indigoshrimp's Blog
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Old 11-19-2010, 04:29 AM
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I will be participating in the Roy x Cone Denim jeans-wearing contest in 2011, details here:
Roy Denim « Indigoshrimp's Blog
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Old 11-20-2010, 08:29 AM
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Nice to see a pair of Roys here!
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Old 11-24-2010, 02:07 AM
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Roy Slaper is a super-human :P

Did you check out the new Roy's World Tour on SuFu?
The tour jeans have Nihon Menpu denim!
Roy's construction + Japanese denim = pure love

I meant to update this thread more often, but it gets difficult as I rotate between many pairs of jeans...
But as of 01/01/2011, I'll be wearing my Roy contest jeans everyday, without exception - so hopefully I'll have more regular updates then!
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Old 12-08-2010, 03:46 PM
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Contest update, here are the jeans modelled by Roy Slaper himself:




Details of the fabric by Cone Denim mill (produced at their historic White Oak plant):




Some interesting things to note in terms of the denim, the K87211.
It is loom-state, straight off the vintage looms at Cone’s White Oak plant – no further processes or treatments have occurred.
It has a grey-green colour pre-soak, a very dark and ‘arid’ feel to it.

The warp is made to fabric specifications tracing back to 1910, and the weft is composed of Black Seed Sea Island cotton (super-long staple for extra hard wear).

My own pair hasn't arrived yet, but should be soon
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Old 12-08-2010, 03:48 PM
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My unofficial contest belt to go with the Roy jeans.
17.5 oz double-horsehide in natural veg. tannage.
Hand stitched and hand riveted.

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Old 12-28-2010, 08:16 AM
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Very close to the contest starting date, lots of participants receiving there jeans these couple of days:

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Old 12-31-2010, 05:04 AM
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A sinful thing: Q&A with Ralph Tharpe
(by Paul Trynka)


Photo courtesy eltopo

How do you think the fabric came out?
I love it. Roy sent me a pair way before for testing. Mine has the big ROY patch on the back.. his conventional jeans, but made with the loomstate fabric. And I tell you I am really liking them. And the hand is incredible because of the properties of the G. barbadense cotton in the weft.

Where is the cotton in the warp yarns from?
Probably Carolinas cotton – I’m not 100% sure. I know Texas cotton is a big thing in Japan at the moment and some of the best cotton in the world is grown in that state – but it depends on what you buy, there is a huge diversity, and there are real problems with some Texas cotton at the moment, due to the weather the tops of the plants were damaged, and much of the available fiber is rather coarse, opposite of what we need for nice ring spun yarns.

And the Pima cotton for the fill yarn?
That’s probably grown in California or possibly Arizona. G. barbadense is a different species than regular upland cotton. The first successful variety was known as Sea Island Cotton which was grown on the coast of Georgia –*and the Carolinas. The seed migrated to Egypt to become Egyptian long staple, and then back to the US to become pima (named for the Pima indians of Arizona). Upland cotton was not really very successful until the invention of the cotton gin. THis fiber is longer, stronger, and finer than regular cotton, highly prized today for fine yarns. Cone just went back to this cotton with the thought that perhaps some early denims were made with Sea Island. It sure makes a great denim yarn!

Tell me about the dyeing.
It’s traditional rope dyeing.. but there is a special secret technique applied that puts a little bit more dye on some of the yarn than others; it really simulates the ways that old fabrics looked from when they were dyeing in the old vats. In the old vat you don’t have a consistent feed of the dye so it has a little more on one end of the rope than the other end. Then they do the second dip in the opposite direction so it evens out – but that never is completely the case, so in a lot of vintage denim you get that streaky appearance which is the dye and yarn in combination. Most people use twist of the yarn and mixing of yarns to replicate this differential dye uptake but Cone have a special technique they use – it’s a secret I’m forbidden to pass on!

When you were putting the fabric on the loom you told me you were wondering whether to add a couple of picks. What effect would that have?
I wanted to make sure we got the right tightness of construction. Too many weft yarns per inch, the fabric can become too cardboard, too stiff. If you don’t put enough then the fabric feels too open and too floppy. Although that floppy look is very popular right now. But the softness in this fabric is coming from the properties of that Pima.

There’s a slight flame or variation to the fabric, tell me about that.
This is an effect you get on vintage fabrics but we don’t get see that too much – because after they’re worn it more or less disappears. Whenever you have a break on the spinning frame you would have what is called a lap; the cotton would begin to lap around a roll and at some point it could even damage the setting on the machine, even bend the roller and that would cause this heavy light, heavy light streakiness. And this fabric has some of that in there. We were trying to make the appearance as authentic as possible, not too even, not too slubby.

So you were aiming for an authentic look, without the exaggerated slubbiness you’ll see on some selvage denim?
Exactly. When you see some of that exaggerated slubbiness – it’s the difference between listening to a very fine recording on vinyl, and listening to the cell phone. You can tell this thing’s not making the sound the way it should be. The same is true with the computer slubbiness. Slub that comes from a computer is only as good as the guy that designs it. Cone has the very best guy in the whole world in that field and his name is Allen Little. He’s the one designed the yarn that went into this fabric. His picture can be found in the piece on Cone that was in Lightning Magazine.

Was this fabric all milled on one single Draper loom or several?
The ROY fabric was all from one loom; I didn’t record the number of the loom – I should have!

You know there’s some Cone cotton duck in the detailing of these jeans. Have you learned much about that fabric since Cone started reproducing it?
That duck was developed some time ago with Levi’s. I was asking Neil [Bell, of Levi's], why do I have to put the selvage line so far from the edge, and he was simply saying, That’s the way I want it. Then Michael Harris sent me a scrap he’d found of the old yarn fabric from the turn of the century or before. The damn thing was made exactly like Neil wanted me to make. Brown duck with a black selvage line.. and the selvage line is away and on the outside of the garment. And this is in a scrap from the late 1800′s.. it’s unbelievable.

I was doing research, in the Callaway Textile Dictionary and elsewhere, looking up the particular weaves and it referred me to sailcloths. So I looked at the sail cloth definition and it said, in the UK the stuff was 24 inches wide, in the US 22 inches wide, and then they were 10 oz per linear yard – and it said there was a line in the fabric that was the guide for sewing the pieces together when making sails. The further the line is from the edge, the heavier the product. So without any question, things made from cotton duck with the line further away are Sail Fabrics!It is beautiful! I want to do more research on sailcloth, the dyeing et cetera. But can you imagine, in San Francisco in the 1870s, how there would be tons and tons of sailcloth around?

Was Cone making duck at the turn of the century?
Probably, i sure wish the sample book from 1896 had not been lost – I don’t know if they kept the selvage further away like that.

Did you enjoy working with ROY?
He was great. He has always been so… insistent that he use the CONE fabric he wanted to. I hope he enjoys making these jeans out of loom state.

Tell me more about the Pima fill; how does that affect the feel?
The other thing about that yarn is that it has a very low twist. It makes the fabric look smoother. In that way it’s like the exact opposite of the 1980s XX. The old XX marbles and gets the orange peel because of all the internal tensions as it’s washed. The lower the twist, the smoother the fabric – and the more authentic. Fabrics today are made with very high level of internal energy – they’re very nervous, uptight, so when you throw them in the water they go nuts, crinkle up, produce that orange peel effect. Fabrics made in the old way were woven more gently on the slower looms, with less tension.The Japanese call it gentle weaving. Cone looms are making gentle weaving every day.

That’s poetry!
I know! And the weft yarn in the old days was spun directly on the the bobbin that goes into the shuttle. Because of that it was done at a very low twist. So that fabric was a lot more relaxed, it didn’t have a lot of nervous energy. If you wore it in the normal way it would be both smoother and softer than anything we see today. That’s why the pima fabric is so authentic, and soft, because of the twist and the cotton.

You mentioned this might be the last project that uses that particular yarn?
I don’t believe there’s any left now, and I’m not sure we could make any more because the price on the Pima now is about double what it was when we bought it. It’s a very expensive proposition to make a heavy denim yarn out of that really nice cotton. It’s probably a sin! That fibre is supposed to be used in yarns that are 80, 90, 100, 150, really fine shirting. To make a plain, old coarse denim yarn from it is probably a sinful thing. But we did it anyway.



© Paul Trynka
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Old 01-01-2011, 11:52 PM
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Roy Q&A
(by Paul Trynka)


How did the inspiration for this design arrive?
It was really just the fabric that told me what it should be. I knew it would be a cinchback. Then there’s the front pockets, that are kind of a slash pocket, although they’ve got a curve to them. I don’t know if you’re like me, but I never know what to do with my hands, and if I’m wearing a 5 pocket jean, having my hands in the pockets isn’t very comfortable. When you’re standing there with your hands in the pockets, in these jeans, it’s very comfortable.


The cinch is a distinctive shape, there are precedents but I don’t know anything as streamlined.
I’ve never seen one just like this, it was a idea I had, I wasn’t sure if I could make it work ‘cos the fabric is a little bulky when there are so many layers so it was tricky*–* a lot of trial and error. You can get anything to work – but I wanted it to look clean. It wound up looking very clean; exactly what I’d envisioned.


Were the buckles tricky to get hold of?
I almost didn’t get them… my friend who makes jeans too was working at a sewing customisation shop and one day told me, they’ve got a darning machine and it wasn’t working right. I said I’ll come over and work on it, really just for fun. Now my friend’s really funny, he’s really friendly but can be forward in an intimidating way, his other job is bouncing at clubs; 6 foot five – big guy; I’d fixed the machine and he said to the guy, in an aside: we have to do something for Roy and he said it in the affirmative, you know. And I said, don’t give me any money –*you’ll get me back. Then a couple days went by and I started thinking about the contest jeans, and I was, What the hell am I gonna do? Where do I get buckles? So I’m thinking, I bet there’s some buckles in the customisation shop somewhere.


Now my friend doesn’t care about vintage jeans, he starts looking – and sending me pictures he’d taken on his phone of all types of belt buckles! I said, Go upstairs and find a pair of jeans that has a buckle across the waist band. Do you have any buckles look like that? [Eventually] he sent me a picture of our buckle that he found in a jar. He started digging around and said, I got 32. I had only just committed to doing 30 jeans. So I said , well – do you think he’d give me those? My friend says, Fuck, take them. and I said, You don’t understand! These are gonna be on TV! Like, what if the guy cared about those? So my friend talked to him and eventually we got… perfunctory permission. I’m assuming he was cool with it.

But it was all for the greater good.
Exactly, it was not for my own gain. So, when I got them and they were grey, I wanted them to match the buttons, I used the exact same process that the button manufacturer does, a Selenic and Phosphoric acid which chemically blackens them. Its like gun blue that you treat the barrel with. It ended up taking a while, which was fine ‘cos I was into how it was gonna look.


What else was time-consuming about the production?
The construction of the belt piece and the cinch took a long time. There’s this [old] tool I have for turning a collar, you sew them inside out then turn them right side out. Man, if I didn’t have that I would not have been able to do it. But it was still a lot of fooling around.


Did you learn new stuff making these?
I learn stuff every day, so it’s hard not to. I still have so much to learn. There’s other stuff, weird sequences, the patch inside is straddled by the back belt loop and cinch but it’s not sewn through, so it was learning how to get the machinery to do what I wanted. And the waistband’s quite thin, only an inch and a quarter… the [prototype] pair has a taller waistband, but strangely that extra quarter inch made the jeans look corny. Also I had to figure out how to chalk the back pocket, with my existing jeans I can freehand it, with these it had to be exact. And doing the boxers was a huge learning curve – I got to use one of the first machines I got hold of, this weird old ass machine from Self Edge (I just answered an add on craigslist), that they didn’t know what it was. It took me some time to realise it was for underwear!


We talked about duck pocketing early on, and you didn’t seem keen?
I didn’t want to commit to anything. I’m learning more about my creative process – how I need to go in, in a vacuum. If I talk to people about what what would be cool it inhibits me, so I pretend nothing’s happening and it seems to work pretty good. I felt in this situation, cotton duck was just fitting. It worked well with the denim, it meant every bit of fabric in the project was Cone, including the chambray for the boxers – it was fitting. Most importantly it worked. When I washed the jeans everything worked well together. I put a lot of thought into pocketing, The pocketing I use on my regular jeans is special, it’s a very involved process. Once these duck pockets get worn in, you will love how they feel in your hands.


It was great how Ralph commented that using the Pima coton for a gnarly denim yarn was positively sinful.
I thought that was hilarious!

The positioning of the watch pocket is unusual.
I did so many versions. At one point there were two, three little compartments and it was all really annoying. Then I had the fifth pocket up on the fingernails side of your hand and it was horrible – almost impossible to get keys or change out. So I found a place that is perfect. With a slash pocket I was concerned about things falling out, and this has a ridge that should make it a safe… a keeping place.

Ralph told me, early on, that shade of the denim wasn’t to your taste?
At first [it] looked weird to me, but that was independent of the construction, the hand, all those characteristics. But that was when it was rigid – after washing, then when I wore these for a month, it totally changed, the color looks awesome. I was impressed, too, how it works as far as not stretching out, and not getting baggy at the knees. I love the way the fabric behaves, because of that lack of tension Ralph mentioned. I would love all denim to behave and feel like this.


You’ve put an incredible amount of work into these jeans. Will you do a regular production version?
I don’t have any more buckles so I don’t think that’s gonna happen. But at the same time - No! I hate when people do that! You know the Mazda Miata was supposed to be a special edition? People bought it thinking it was a limited release car – now you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting one (Ed. note: this “fact” is likely a total fabrication). But when they came out they were really cool. I’ll probably use the basic pattern [again], like the World Tour jeans are basically the same basic fit, but without the cinch back and exposed rivets, plus different denim. To make this pattern again and sell it would take away from the competition. And we did something cool here.


© Paul Trynka

For production pictures, check the first page of the contest thread on SuperFuture.
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