Details

Cargo

A cousin to the carpenter jean, this loose-fit style features one or more cargo pockets that can be found on the sides of the legs, the front or the back.


Utility

This casual, easygoing style is relaxed in the seat, thighs and legs. Often featuring large utility pockets for an updated look.


Novelty Finishes

Cool fashion finishes make jeans unique. You can find anything from crosshatch (a crisscross weave) to whisker wash (bleached out marks that resemble whiskers).


Carpenter

A casual, loose-fitting style that almost always sports large utility pockets, a pliers pocket and a hammer loop. Sure to keep your youngster looking cool and feeling comfy.


Washes

Dirty Washed

Like stone-washed jeans, they have been prewashed to make them softer and give them a worn-in look. The difference – they've been tinged in beige, brown or khaki to make them appear "dirty."


Tinted

Denim that looks like it was dipped into diluted dye shades of any color in the rainbow. Red, brown, gray or turquoise - take your pick.


Whisker Wash

This wash features bleached-out marks that resemble whiskers (typically right below the front pockets). A big trend!


Finishes

Blasted

Short for "sandblasted." This term refers to fabric that has been washed with sand or another abrasive material to produce soft, faded results. For dramatic contrast, look for styles that have been superblasted in certain areas!


Crosshatch

This must-have finish features a crisscross weave. It looks great in any denim hue - from light sandblast to dark indigo. Try stretch crosshatch, too.


Frayed

The cut-off look isn't just for denim shorts. Frayed edges are showing up everywhere, including waist lines and leg openings


Oven-baked

These jeans are actually baked in an oven. The process gives them a semi-permanent, creased or wrinkled effect in certain areas. You get a vintage look without wearing out the denim.


Slub

Trust us, this style looks better than it sounds! It refers to denim woven with uneven yarns, giving jeans a totally cool, textured effect.


Distressed

The coolest thing to happen to denim since bell bottoms. These jeans are highly faded and sometimes finished with holes, rips, tears and fraying hems. The perfect detail to satisfy your inner rock star.


BIG JOHN: the history of this Japanese denim powerhouse


Despite the busyness at last week's men's tradeshows, I was able to visit with the denim technicians at BIG JOHN, who flew in from Japan to show at PROJECT NY. The brand has long been a pioneer of authentic denim craftsmanship yet is intently focused on forward-thinking innovation.

In 1940, BIG JOHN founder Kotaro Osaki set up shop, manufacturing workwear and U.S. military-inspired pants. Then called Maruo Clothing Company, the label was already in tune with trends, reacting to the popularity of American-style clothing in Japan.

After WWII, the company started selling imported American-made used clothing, remaking pieces to fit the Japanese market. Throughout the 60s, the label continued to improve upon the US-made fabrics it was importing. BIG JOHN became the first brand in the world to develop denim washes, calling them BIG-WASHING. This achievement was followed in 1973 with the company's first completely Japanese denim fabric.

In the 80s, BIG JOHN developed the world's first purposely uneven yarns and created its RARE JEANS selvedge denim using power looms. This method continues to inspire vintage and replica styles the world over.










Selvage denim

Selvage on a pair of jeans

Selvage denim (alternative spelling: selvedge denim) is a type of denim which forms a clean natural edge that does not unravel. It is commonly presented in the unwashed or raw state. Typically, the selvage edges will be located along the out-seam of the trousers, making it visible when cuffs are worn.
The word "selvage" comes from the phrase "self-edge", the natural edge of a roll of fabric. As applied to denim, it means that which is made on old-style shuttle looms. These looms weave fabric with one continuous cross thread (the weft) that is passed back and forth all the way down the length of the bolt. As the weft loops back into the edge of the denim it creates this “self-edge” or selvage. Selvage is desirable because the edge cannot fray like denim made on a projectile loom that has separate wefts, which leave an open edge that must be stitched. This advantage is only realized on one edge of the fabric, however, as the fabric has to be cut to shape and anywhere it is cut the self-edge is lost.
Shuttle looms weave a narrower piece of fabric, and thus a longer piece of fabric is required to make a pair of jeans (approximately 3 yards). To maximize yield, traditional jean makers use the fabric all the way to the selvedge edge. When the cuff is turned up, the two selvedge edges (where the denim is sewn together) can be seen. The selvage edge is usually stitched with colored thread: green, white, brown, yellow, and (most commonly) red. Fabric mills used these colors to differentiate between fabrics.
Most selvage jeans today are dyed with synthetic indigo, but natural indigo dye is available in some denim labels. Though they are supposed to have the same chemical makeup, there are more impurities in the natural indigo dye. Loop dying machines feed a rope of cotton yarn through vats of indigo dye and then back out. The dye is allowed to oxidize before the next dip. Multiple dips create a deep dark indigo blue.
In response to increased demand for jeans in the 1950s, American denim manufacturers replaced the old shuttle style looms with modern projectile looms. The new looms produced fabric faster and wider (60 inches or wider). Synthetic dying techniques along with post-dye treatments were introduced to control shrink and twist.
Selvage denim is one of the more expensive denims because of its durability, and self-edge that will never fray.