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In the Field: Wallace & Barnes Denim from the Nihon Menpu Mill

Located in Japan’s Okayama prefecture, a region famous for producing some of the world’s best denim, the Nihon Menpu mill creates fabric using a meticulous approach perfected over the past century. Our men’s designer Frank Muytjens explains why that made it the ideal source for the denim in our new vintage-inspired Wallace & Barnes jeans. 



HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE

“I’m always looking for authenticity in denim,” says Frank. “It’s a fabric with a long and interesting history, and I think that should come across in every pair of jeans.” That sense of history and tradition is what led our designers to Nihon Menpu, one of the few mills in the world that continues to use old-fashioned indigo-dyeing techniques and vintage looms that date back as far as the 1920s.


“Denim is a fabric with a long and interesting history, and I think that should come across in every pair of jeans.”




taking it slow
Nihon Menpu’s denim starts out as unprocessed cotton threads that are dipped into vats of indigo dye—made from the mill’s secret mixture of pigments—and then woven into bolts of fabric on slower, narrower looms. That combination of specialized dyes and a more deliberate weaving process results in denim that’s smoother, softer and more prone to natural irregularities than mass-produced fabrics. “We look for mills that really respect the process of dyeing, spinning and weaving and that work with only the best materials,” explains Frank.

“We look for mills that really respect the process of dyeing, spinning and weaving and that work with only the best materials.”

OLD MEETS NEW
For our new Wallace & Barnes jeans, we handpicked a sturdy 13.5-ounce raw selvedge denim that’s dyed with natural indigo, added classic details like a button fly and cut it in our updated straight fit. “I love the color and character of the denim we chose. They set you up for a great fade and distressing as you wear it in,” says Frank. “These jeans feel true to the vintage styles that inspired them.”



Frank wears our Wallace & Barnes straight raw indigo selvedge jean. Shop all denim here


Photographs by Bryan Derballa. 

Shop all men’s denim here

Plus, check out our latest women’s denim here.
TAGS: mens, frank muytjens, denim, in the field
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