These are natural indigo denim from BLUE BLUE , one of the brands of Seirin Corporation.
When I bought this denim in 1995, Seirin Kouji was a company that dominated the American casual industry at that time, including Hollywood Ranch Market, OKURA, and High Standard.
Although the boom has now subsided, the company has a brand with a strong following.
These jeans were my next choice after Levi’s when the Japanese reproduction boom was starting to take off.
I was still in my second year of high school at the time. I was a cynical person and was fascinated by the sound of “natural indigo,” so I chose a pair of jeans that cost 28,000 yen.
This was only influenced by the magazine “BOON”. These jeans were picked up in the same feature as D’Artisan’s Tokushima Sho-Ai dyed denim.
This denim was based on the PP4-XX from HRM and was released by BLUE BLUE.
Those were the heyday of “guts” denim. The famous words of Mr. Hayashi, the owner of Denime, “It’s just jeans. If you don’t wash them, the cotton threads will break in droves”.
However, even after Mr. Hayashi’s comment, everyone was still wearing them without washing them.
I digress. I don’t know how long I wore them. I was a high school student at the time, so I wore them for a few hours after coming home from school and slept in them instead of pajamas. Of course, I didn’t wash them, so the threads were broken off.
I don’t know how they were able to wear them as pajamas, now that I think about it, teenage energy is amazing. Once my mother did the laundry without my permission, and I lost my temper, and then my mom lost hers. Is this a common occurrence?
I wore them like that for a year and a half, and after that, I wore them in rotation with Denime, which I bought when I was 18, Full Count, which I bought when I was 19, and Denime’s 10th anniversary.
I have been wearing them for about 10 years since I bought them, and every time I wash them, they tear somewhere. I have been wearing it there, but it has not turned white because it is natural indigo & hank dyeing.
General denim is dyed using a dyeing method called rope dyeing, which in essence dyes the perimeter of the yarn with indigo dye while the inside of the yarn is white.
Hank dyeing is a traditional Japanese dyeing method that dyes down to the core of the yarn.
In the case of rope-dyeing, the color fades more quickly where there is a bite, and the color of the yarn that has not been dyed comes out. This creates gradations such as whiskers and hachino-su that are characteristic of denim.
The dyed color will fade and create an overall light gradient.
Natural indigo dyeing
This is also a traditional Japanese dyeing method, and synthetic indigo is used overseas (e.g., Levi’s) to dye denim.
The same is true for denim of what is known as vintage age, since synthetic indigo was developed in the late 1800s, and by the early 1900s, most commercial products were said to be made of synthetic indigo due to its high productivity.
Natural Indigo dyeing has a poorer color fixation rate than synthetic Indigo and requires more frequent dyeing. Of course, since natural plants are used, the preparation of raw materials is also time-consuming.
For these reasons, natural indigo is generally not used very often, but its bright blue color has a unique charm.
Dyeing of this denim
The denims are dyed with natural indigo for the warp and grass/tannin dyeing for the weft. We wanted to make a product that would have the bright blue color of natural Indigo dyeing, but because the color is blue, we wanted to achieve a deeper (darker) color like vintage Levi’s. We wanted to use synthetic Indigo, but we did not want to use synthetic Indigo, so we chose this dyeing method. But I think they chose this dyeing method because they did not want to use synthetic indigo.
It seems that deep (dark) colors can be achieved with natural indigo alone, but denim made with synthetic indigo are usually dyed about 15 times. We do not know the number of times these denims were dyed, but the price was 38,000 yen for the Tokushima Shoan indigo dyed 38 times that Stadio D’Artisan was selling at the time. Even so, the color appearance was much bluer than synthetic indigo jeans, so the price would be too high if one wanted to make a darker (darker) colored product using only bright natural indigo dyeing.
I imagine that they probably settled on this dyeing method as a compromise between such a general product price and the intensity of synthetic indigo.
However, there is a fatal weakness: when the clothes are subjected to a heavy load like denim, the fabric will not last until the color fades to a good level.
I don’t think a good natural indigo + hank-dyed denim with advanced color fading will be produced unless the dyeing is lightened, used for elegant clothes, worn in an extremely hard environment, or washed much more frequently.
It is based on PP4-XX, which was released by HRM, so I think the weave is the same.
The unevenness is modest, more like a BIG E or 66 than an XX model. However, at 14.8 ounces, it is quite heavy.
Speaking of HRM, this selvedge. Nowadays, I kind of like it.
The buttons on the top are original to HRM.
The rivets are also original; they are over 20 years old and have a vintage look.
I forget which store repaired it, but it is unique.
Am I the only one who thinks that fabrics that don’t turn white get cooler the more they are repaired?
Literally red selvage. Even more than the selvedge, I love the indigo fading of the fabric from the back.
The weft threads are popping out. It is dyed with herbaceous tannin, so it is not pure white.
I often see Full Count’s natural indigo dyed jeans “1105NA” like this, but are natural indigo denim prone to tearing?
Silhouette and size
I am 174cm 65kg and still have room to spare. It is a big size 33 inches, as was the case with the waist-wear boom at that time.
It is large around the waist and tapered.
Not suitable for tucking in. Looks good with a tight, long-sleeved top.
From the hips to the top, the fabric has a nice crusty feel to it.
After the color faded to a certain degree, I wore them as jeans with a different feel rather than as replica denim, but when I look at the photos again, they are good denim with a unique vintage feel.
However, as a fashion item, it may be difficult to find the right item to match because of its soft atmosphere but kutarella feel.
When I get a little older, I would like to wear them with traditional Japanese long pants and snow pants for about 10 years.