When I first heard about the lengths that Evisu was going through for an authentic, well crafted, and hardly normal collection of heritage issue denim, I was a little confused. By most people’s thought process…thinking of the two words Evisu and Heritage going together seems confusing judging by the years proceeding today. To be honest, I have never wore a pair of Evisu denim, but the more I research the craftsmanship behind the wonderful product they’re releasing, the more I can’t wait. Fortunately, the folks at Evisu were so absolutely gracious to include myself as one of ten across the globe in a documentation project for the aging process of the denim. Below is a well-thought out approach to the delicate nature of creating the best pair of jeans possible, and with a preliminary look into the fabrication as well as a first-hand documentation, it will certainly be everything you need to know. Bear in mind, this is a very long, drawn-out description so I would only expect the nerdiest of the denim nerds to fully read it! A lot of the terms and methods, I’m still not fully educated on, but it’s great to see the blood, sweat, and tears thrown into a pair of cotton trousers. It’s much appreciated on any front.
The range will include two jeans in a vintage open cut and a skinny slim-fit, as well as a vintage-inspired jeans jacket both unlined and fully blanket-lined in black cashmere. The detailing is loosely inspired by vintage Wrangler jeans, and the denims will of course be Japanese selvage, dyed with real vegetable indigo which will wear beautifully over many years. One denim is 100% cotton, and one is made with ultra-fine Supima cotton and silk. Both denims weigh in at a sturdy 14oz.
However although the fabrics and detailing are the very finest and most luxurious, we feel that the most exciting features of these jeans are the meticulous hand-making techniques that have been abandoned in even the most loving Japanese reproduction jeans available to collectors and connoisseurs today. There is no overlocking, twin-needle stitching, fell-stitching or chain-stitching anywhere on the jeans (even the beltloops are handmade using 3 folds and three stitch lines, and lined with tough cotton drill and fine luxurious black silk!). Instead, every seam is constructed from several single-needle stitch lines, requiring many folds and extreme concentration on behalf of the machinist who will make each pair of jeans or each jacket by hand from start to finish. We are so proud of the crafts-people who make our Evisu Deluxe jeans that the maker will finish each garment by signing it personally on a special embroidered label inside the waistband. Because the garment is made by hand by one person, and because each stitch line is sewn individually, the finished piece will have “soul” in the tiny inconsistencies of stitching which simply cannot be achieved in a standard factory mass-produced garment. The first prototype Evisu Deluxe jean which is shown below was made by John who has been proudly making Evisu jeans for many years.
On a well-made standard pair of jeans, the yoke seam is sewn in a single run with a “fell” chainstitch sewing machine. This is very tough, and allows the jeans to be made efficiently, as workwear should be. However for the Evisu Deluxe “finest jeans ever made” we want to offer an even stronger, more authentically hand-made seam construction. As with every other part of the Evisu Deluxe jean, every seam on the jeans (except the selvage outside leg seam) is sewn in a single-needle case seam construction, which requires two sewing runs, and the careful folding of the inlay by hand into the “case”. As a finishing touch, the gold and black Evisu Deluxe tape label is sewn into the yoke seam in the same construction stitch lines (rather than being simply sewn on separately after the jeans are finished). This can only be done by an extremely skilled machinist carefully constructing the seam by hand.
The hip pocket is attached in three separate runs, only two of which will finally be visible from outside. The extra stitch line is in fact a seam, not a topstitch, and makes an extremely strong, and very neat “bluff” pocket. The first step is marking the pocket inlay. Because a bluff pocket is sewn from the inside, it must be carefully marked on the pocket and on the body panel of the jeans, to ensure it ends up just the right shape and position.
Sewing the bluff seam from inside the pocket (the topstitching you can see is the top edge of the pocket mouth, which has already been stitched)
Topstitching around the edges of the bluff pocket. This adds extra strength to the pocket, traps the raw inlays of the pocket between the stitch lines (so you can’t feel the frayed edge inside the pocket) and finishes the jeans pocket visually. Because the topstitching is done on a single- (rather than twin-) needle sewing machine, the stitch lines are not perfectly parallel, but will include a certain amount of human error, giving “soul” to the jeans. Notice the stitch line across the pocket, showing where the reinforcing cotton drill lining has been sewn to the pocket. In the next prototype, and in production, this lining will be made up of 2 layers- one of luxurious black silk twill, and one of heavy unbleached cotton drill, to ensure the pockets don’t wear through after heavy repeated wear over the many years’ life of Evisu Deluxe jeans. The half-lining seam and topstitch, visible from outside the pocket, will be made from real indigo-dyed thread, which will wear beautifully at the same rate as the denim.
The finished pocket corner. Notice the slight inconsistencies in the stitch lines, showing the human “soul” that can only be achieved by the most labour-intensive, pains-taking sewing techniques. You can also see how the side edge of the pocket is completely clean where the bluff seam has been turned back and topstitched: a normal patch pocket would have a loose flap in the 1mm space between the edge of the pocket and the topstitch.
Now the pocket corner will be bartacked for security using real indigo-dyed thread, and finished with an exposed Scovil copper non-scratch dome rivet with a brown leather washer on the reverse side. To top it all off, they will be presented in an embroidered black silk bag, sealed in an engraved black-lacquered wooden box.