In the Field: Men’s Denim from the Kaihara Mill
When we set out to redesign our denim, we knew it had to be with the best fabric available. That’s why our design team went to the Kaihara mill, a textile house in Fukuyama City, Japan, that’s been producing indigo-dyed fabrics for over 100 years.
A Traditional Approach
“We chose the Kaihara mill because Japanese denim is produced with a real love of craft,” says Rich, one of our denim designers. “The fabric is treated like an art form, and there’s a deep commitment to tradition and heritage.” For Kaihara, that tradition stretches all the way back to the late 19th century when the mill was founded as a source for indigo kasuri, an ikat-like weaving technique that’s used for kimonos and wall hangings.
Denim with a Twist
In the 1970s, Kaihara expanded into denim, incorporating many of its traditional weaving methods like ring spinning to create fabric with exceptional strength and character. Strands of cotton are tightly twisted together into yarn before they’re dyed. The dye doesn’t completely soak all the way through, so you end up with denim that’s stronger and will fade with more dramatic highs and lows of color depending on how you wear it.
Quality You Can Feel
While today Kaihara has shifted entirely to denim production, it’s that combination of old and new, heritage and innovation that makes its fabrics unique. “You can feel the quality when you pick up its denim,” says Rich. “Each step is deeply considered, from start to finish, and that makes for this amazing fabric that you aren’t going to see in your average pair of jeans.”