Studio D'Artisan D4563 "Tokushima Awa Shoai" 15oz Type II Indigo Jacket
Studio D'Artisan's Tokushima jacket is hand-dyed using thicker yarn, resulting in a unique, uneven finish. The Awa Shoai dyeing technique, with its centuries-old tradition, produces a beautiful raindrop indigo effect.
Introducing the new SDA Tokushima Hand-Dyed Type II Denim Jacket – a faithful reproduction of the iconic 1950s Levi's jacket, elevated with a unique hand-dyed twist that creates an incredible raindrop effect, adding a burst of color to your outfits.
This beauty is produced in limited quantities as it is hand-dyed by Japanese craftsmen using natural indigo. The yarn used for hand-dyeing is thicker than that for machine dyeing, hence the denim fabric has a unique uneven finish that sets it apart from typical 15oz denim.
Indigo is said to be the oldest dye used by humans worldwide. It was introduced to Japan around 1500 years ago. It was considered a noble color predominantly worn by courts and upper aristocrats during the Heian period. It was during the Edo period that indigo spread among the common people, and it is said that kimonos, work clothes, shop curtains, and even bedclothes were dyed in indigo. Being loved by the Japanese as an auspicious color, indigo was the symbolic color of Japan during the Meiji era, referred to as "Japan Blue" in other countries. Studio D'Artisan has created a new "JAPAN INDIGO" in which the beloved indigo dyeing and indigo Kasuri techniques, using Japanese methods, are incorporated into a modern style with the skills and knowledge of craftsmen.
Indigo dyeing in Tokushima is said to have been 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 indigo dyeing in Tokushima is called "fermentation," with Awa indigo as a raw material. Since it cannot be dyed to a dark shade all at once, the process of dyeing, squeezing, and drying is repeated many times. It is said that the authentic color achieved through the Awa Shoai dyeing technique (hank dyeing) is obtained after washing with water about 30 times, during which the uneven color is washed off until a deep shade is achieved. 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 preserved today.
These jeans are expensive, but the Japanese method of creating indigo dye is labor-intensive and incredibly time-consuming. Leaves are carefully gathered from the indigo plant and placed under thick straw mats for months on end. To ensure the leaves ferment properly, very specific conditions must be consistently maintained. 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 approximately 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 ago, 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 multiple times to achieve darker colors.
Awa Shoai process:
- Grow Ai (藍 in Japanese, which is Natural indigo) leaves from March to July/August and cut the leaves in summer.
- The cut leaves are fermented for 100 days to make Natural indigo dye.
- Hank dye the yarns by very skilled craftsmen in Tokushima. Dyeing process: dip, squeeze, and wash the bunch of yarns – repeating this process about 12-14 times to achieve the dark color. Washing with water about 30 times.
Despite being a Japanese jacket, we find the sizing of this Type II to be more Western than Japanese. If you usually wear a size M in American jackets, you'll find a suitable fit with this jacket in size 40 (M). However, as always, we recommend consulting our size chart for the perfect fit. It is unsanforized but one washed, so there will be no shrinkage.
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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