British Woven & Crafted Selvedge Linen Mix & Japanese Woven Selvedge Nep Denim
We are now coming to that time of year where summer is moving into autumn, so we have some pretty tasty pieces of clobber coming your way.
Let’s start with our new selvedge denims.
We have two new and very unique fabrics on offer, so let’s take a close look at each.
First, we have probably one of the most underappreciated and quite rare pieces of denim fabric… The NEP DENIM
I first came across this fabric at a trade show in Paris in the mid 80s.
It was woven by the Montebello Mill in Italy and, though not quite to the level of the Japanese mill, it was nevertheless interesting to me and I was inspired to add it into one of my collections, purely as a window piece.
Roll on 30 odd years and here we have it again, this time woven in Japan on pre 1950s shuttle looms by the COLLECT denim mill.
As afficionados of the denim world wax lyrical about the latest 25oz denim or the latest vintage find, we on the other hand crack on, moving forwards with our take on this beautiful woven piece of cloth.
For many true denim aficionados, this denim’s texture is its most important quality. Though the slubbiness, hairiness, and loom chatter are all good - for me, nothing beats those beautiful beads of nep. In years gone by, this fabric was classed as faulty and it’s only fairly recently that the mills presented the nep as a part of the character of the fabric. And it’s a character that keeps this denim quite unique.
These jeans feature some irregularities in both, in the form of the nep, which makes each pair unique even before they’re worn in. It’s a highly individual denim which makes it look like your new jeans have been lightly covered by tiny winter snowflakes.
While the fabric is certainly the star of the show, these jeans are constructed with all our usual great details. Like fully lined back pockets, chainstitch hems, leather donut washers behind every button and rivet, plus our signature colour coding threads.
What is Nep Denim?
When a garment is neppy, or has nep, it usually just means that the fabric of the garment has been woven in a way that some of the cotton fibres extend and protrude from the main surface. Usually these fabrics tend to possess a “snowy” look, as if fresh fallen snow is sitting on the surface of the denim, hence the term snowflake
Nep has often been confused with slub because of the textural characteristics that they both share. However, the difference between the two often needs to be very clearly defined.
The texture in this type of denim will be more noticeable on the surface of the fabric than in the peeking glimpses of white in the composition of a slubby fabric. Loom chatter also plays a role in the production of nep denim. Nep denim usually has visible fibres exposed from the main surface of the fabric which are generally knots and broken fibres within the yarn that occur as it is spun and then woven. Loom chatter exacerbates the nepping process by further agitating the fibres and leaving them more exposed through the shaking and tangling of the yarn while the loom weaves
Nep denim also possesses some singular traits throughout life of the fabric. It still fades naturally like most raw denim, but the neppy fibres will become more pronounced in the appearance of the jean; bringing about a furrier look. One of the most desirable features of a nep denim is their uncanny ability to fade horizontally, as well as vertically
Neppy denim is something I have been wanting to produce for many years now, both for its uniqueness and to maintain our ethos of offering something different than the norm. however, until now, the time wasn’t right and I couldn’t find a decent enough mill who was actually weaving the very special type of nep I wanted.
Now I have found it from our friends over at the COLLECT Denim MILL out of Japan, so this 15oz Nep is now on the cutting table and now ready for pre order
Now, here we have the linen mix selvedge denim
A 13.5oz linen mix, where the ecru linen is spun at the Safilin Mill in northern France which has been respecting the environment since 1778.
Woven on an old 1950s Blackburn Northrop Shuttle Loom in the foothills of Lancashire and sanforised & finished in Chorley.
While the fabric certainly has a superb unique feature, these jeans are constructed with all our great details of fully lined back pockets, chainstitch hems, leather donut washers behind all the buttons and rivets and our signature 2 colour coding threads.
The 2 selvedge looms are as far from the modern looms used in Japanese, Italian and Turkish denim mills as one can get. Due to this they are unable to produce a selvedge denim that won’t have subtle inconsistencies. These are caused by the age of the looms and what is referred to in the industry as “Loom Chatter”. This chatter causes our selvedge denim to at times have a “Nep” look.
Why Linen Mix ?
I chose a linen mix as the majority of Japanese mills I work with produce fabrics which are pretty much quite rigid, while I wanted to offer something that little bit different, special and even more comfortable to wear. This fabric’s breathable properties, along with a soft texture and strength from the start without previous washing, gives a relaxed feel, still in keeping with our ethos of raw selvedge denim.
Although a mid-weight raw denim, the linen yarn gives this garment a lovely softer handle and will break in a quicker than the Japanese denim. Giving it a slight nep / broken twill effect and giving some really beautiful fades over time