Toyoda shuttle looms (still being used today by Japanese denim artisans) interweave warp and weft threads with a component called a shuttle, which loops the warp thread back and forth on the loom, threading it through the weft threads in a unique way in which the fabric acquires a texture and resilience impossible to achieve on the modern industrial-production looms that were even then becoming dominant throughout the world.
In 1972, the Japanese textile company Kurabo, after eight attempts, succeeded in manufacturing the first Japanese selvedge denim fabric in history (called KD-8) in its factory situated in Kojima (a town with an important textile tradition at the time and the epicentre of Japanese denim today). And just a year later, the brand Big John, also located in Kojima, which had been making jeans with American fabrics in the past decade, sold the first pair of jeans produced entirely in Japan under the collection called M-Series and using the Kurabo KD-8 fabric we mentioned earlier.
Some years later, in 1979, Shigeharu Tagaki created in Osaka the Studio D’Artisan brand (today one of the icons of Japanese denim), later joined by the brands Denime, Evisu, Fullcount and Warehouse. Together they formed what became known as the “Osaka 5”, creating a distinctive style and establishing the bases of what has become the culture of Japanese denim.