The First Heavyweight Handwoven Jeans in the World.
May 22, 2013

Introducing the Elhaus x NoKipple 01 prototype.

It is a 20oz 1 wash unsanforized left hand twill handwoven fabric, with a red selvedge line. I was plenty ecstatic when the parcel came with it. First, here’s how I came to own it. NoKipple is an upcoming European retailer which you’ll be hearing plenty about within the next 6 months. They bought up the whole batch of this fabric from Elhaus with the intention of selling the line in the near future. As some of you know, I’m constantly looking for unusual pairs, especially those that haven’t been faded before. Imagine my luck when both sides contacted me with a chance to wear this pair for the HWDC 2. Naturally, I agreed wholeheartedly.

Now the only other handwoven pair I’m aware of is the 14.5oz Momotaro Gold Label. That’s a much lighter pair that retailed for US$2000. I have no idea how much the Elhaus x NK 01 is going to retail for but it has been mentioned it will be priced affordably. Now handwoven jeans aren’t for everybody, but they should be a denim head’s wet dream. There’s an uneven texture to it that’s unique to handwoven fabrics. I don’t expect a person who’s used to very standard even textured fabrics, who prefers denim that has low character, to appreciate this. Much like how I wouldn’t expect a person who shops at G-Star to pick up a pair of LVCs. Only a denim head will appreciate how it takes weavers 1 whole day to weave just 1.5 yards of fabric. In contrast, denim mills with an automated system can weave hundreds of yards in a day.

From coloring the threads, to the warping process, everything had to be done manually. To weave the cloth, they had to modify these old rug type looms, to increase the tension of the thread for a tighter woven fabric. On a micro level, it’s 100% ring spun cotton sewn together with poly core spun threads. From the selvedge line, I’ve noticed its off white and looks to be unbleached cotton. The cotton itself is imported blended cotton. Studying it under a little microscope, the texture is hairier than Zimbabwe cotton. My guess is the cotton blend is made up of mostly Gossypium Hirsutum. It still feels plenty soft to the touch, which is perhaps due to the skill of the weavers in creating a supple comfortable fabric.

I know one of the first things you’ve noticed is the colour of the fabric. It resembles natural indigo but it really is synthetic indigo. They experimented with their dying process and managed to produce a fabric that has several gradients of blue. It’s quite a sight to see under good lighting. Compared to the usual dark indigo though, this looks like a dark cobalt blue colour. There’s character in the colour and in the texture, its like a denim with a secret waiting to reveal itself.

The rivets on this pair are made of solid copper, it’s one of the features I really like about this pair. It’s hand settled onto the denim and just looks subtle but distinctive.

The buttons are custom Elhaus nickel free buttons. In their previous pairs they’ve used Scovill buttons. Scovill made buttons from the civil war era, which would have been a nice touch. I can only hope they put those on the retail pair if I’m honest. The Elhaus buttons work just as well, I’d just like hardware that’s a little more interesting.

The pocket bags are lightweight wabash silk screen print fabric that resembles batik cloth. Which is a very nice touch that reminds me it’s an Indonesian brand, which I so often forget when I’m staring at it. Its light and thin enough so you won’t have to worry about dreaded pocket bag fades.

The construction on this pair is just as good as I’ve seen on other fine Japanese labels, double chain stitched interior and hem, a hidden selvedge lining in the coin pocket, the asymmetrical┬árear belt loop was also interesting. The inseam was too long for me so I had to get them hemmed. Johnny Low from Tuckshop & Sundry Supplies was very helpful with that! I had soaked the denim the night before and it wasn’t all that dry, but Johnny managed to do a fantastic chain stitch job on my hem.

The fit is based off the Elhaus Warbonnet fit. With some modifications. The rear rise is shorter so the top block is slimmer. The rear back pockets are larger to comfortably fit mid-sized wallets. Right now it is a slim straight fit, however, seeing this is a prototype, the retail version might be a little different.

If you have any further questions about the pair, comment below and I’ll respond promptly.

- Saintkeat

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