Japanese Denim

History of Dry/Raw selvedge denim

Dry (or Raw) selvedge denim is a fabric that used to be utilised for major denim manufacturing companies in USA from the early 20th century (or even earlier) into the 80's, for various denim products (jeans, jackets, shirts, curtains, tents, even aprons!).

Due to the high demand for jeans during the 70's and 80's, old shuttle looms were used to produce selvedge denim fabrics, (29-32inch wide) about 50 meters a day per machine was extremely time consuming and expensive.

Manufacturing companies shifted from these old shuttle looms to modern cost effective projectile looms which are capable of making denim fabrics faster, as well as wider (60-63inch)*, and sold the old shuttle looms to various Japanese companies.

It is a well known fact that the last red selvedge denim was manufactured sometime in the early 80's (sometime between 1974-1986) prior to the Japanese selvedge denim boom started in the beginning of 90s.

 

        

   

Japanese cotton industry and indigo fabrics

In Japan, the start of the textile and dyeing/colouring industry began in the Edo Period (mid 18th century). Okayama region became famous for producing/cultivating cotton and indigo plants** in Meiji Era (mid 19th century), and is the birthplace for the Japanese denim/jeans industry. There are many denim related companies based in Okayama from multinational companies to small family mills, especially in Kojima (Kurashiki) as well as Ihara region and Okayama has become the place for denim product designers. 

 


Our Japanese raw denim jeans, made in Japan

Our passion is to create the very best denim products, produced with the finest materials, hand-crafted by denim specialists in trusted traditional methods. Our selvedge raw denim fabrics are made by old woven shuttle looms for natural fade, as well as excellent durability. The jeans are made in Okayama, sewn by vintage Union machines for an authentic finish.

We are striving for creating the ultimate classic jeans by utilising only authentic Japanese denim sourced and woven in Japan.

 

Please see our Japanese denim here.
                             

*Wikipedia states that the new projectile looms make less durable fabrics, but we believe it makes stronger fabrics with a less unique fading process. 

**Indigo plants are also located in Tokushima and Kagawa prefecture in Shikoku, Japan.


Made in Japan by Union     Union made