We're excited to introduce the most incredible and rarest jeans we've ever had at Redcast. These rare jeans are produced in a limited number as they are dyed by the hand of craftsmen from yarns. The yarn used for hand dyeing is thicker than that for machine dyeing, therefore the denim fabric has a unique uneven finish that is completely different from ordinary 15oz denim.
Indigo is said to be the oldest dye used by human all over the world. It was introduced to Japan about 1500 years ago. It was considered a noble colour worn mainly by courts and upper aristocrats during the Heian period. It was in the Edo period that indigo spread among the common people, when it is said that kimono, work clothes, shop curtains, and even bedclothes were indigo. Being loved by the Japanese as an auspicious colour, indigo was the symbol colour of Japan in the Meiji era, called "Japan Blue" in other countries. Studio D'Artisan has created new "JAPAN INDIGO", in which the loved indigo dyeing and indigo Kasuri using Japanese techniques are incorporated into a modern style with the skill and knowledge of craftsmen.
Indigo dyeing in Tokushima is said to be introduced to Japan around 900 AD by the lord of Awa, Hachisuka, who recognized that the climate along the Yoshino River was suitable for indigo cultivation. The technique used in the indigo dyeing in Tokushima is called "fermentation", with Awa indigo as a raw material. Since it cannot be dyed in a dark shade at once, the process of dyeing, squeezing, and drying is repeated many times. It is said that the genuine colour of the Awa Shoai dyeing technique (hank dyeing) is gained after washing with water about 30 times, each of which the unharmonious colour is washed off until a deep shade is created. Also, the unique scent with an insect repellent effect contributes to the atmosphere with seasonal transitions, giving the wearer peace of mind. In 1968, the "Awa Shoai dyeing technique" was designated as an intangible cultural property of Tokushima, and it is still inherited today.
These jeans are expensive, but the Japanese method of creating indigo dye is truly a labour and incredibly time-consuming. Leaves are carefully gathered from the indigo plant and placed under thick straw mats for months on end. In order for the leaves to properly ferment, very specific conditions must be maintained at all times. Workers must perform daily maintenance to ensure that the leaves have proper airflow and stay at a temperature around 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
From picking the leaves to completion, the entire fermentation process takes roughly one full year. Finally, after months of patience and dedicated work, the final result is something that resembles dirt, but with a pungent, vinegary aroma. This product, known as "sukumo", serves as the basis for indigo dye.
Just as the indigo-dyers of hundreds of years past, the "Awa Shoai" dyeing is a manual process, done on hands and knees while leaning over a large metal vat of inky blue indigo dye. The shade of blue after one dip will be very light, and the dipping process must be repeated many times to achieve darker colours.
Awa Shoai process:
1. Grow Ai (藍 in Japanese, which is Natural indigo) leaves from March to July/August and cut the leaves in summer.
2. The cut leaves are fermented for 100 days to make Natural indigo dye.
3. Hank dye the yarns by very skilled craft man in Tokushima
Dying process: dip, squeeze and wash the bunch of yarns ← repeating this process about 12-14 times to make the dark colour. Washing with water about 30 times.
The jeans are made with all the superior-quality Studio D'Artisan details such as custom copper buttons, high-quality pocket bags and a thick cowhide unwashed leather patch. SDA opted to stitch the leather patch after the tempi treatment. That was very costly because the jeans needed to return to the sewing workshop after the one wash process). However, we did that to get the best look.
This pair features a High Tapered cut. It features a tapered leg from the knee down while providing ample room on the top block with a high rise.
Under the slogan of "Reconstruction of great old things", Studio D'Artisan is one of the iconic brands of Japanese denim. Founded by Shigeharu Tagaki and reproducing classics of French and American workwear since 1979, Studio D'Artisan takes pride in having been one of the Osaka 5.
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