Q&A with Pey aka @sashikodenim
Ask any denimheads about their favourite thing about raw denim; I bet you they’ll say the fades. Ask about the least favourite thing and you’ll probably hear ‘crotch blowouts’ or something similar.
Raw denim is awesome because you create your own personal look. But wearing the same garments for months or years, often with infrequent washing, means it’ll usually rip at some point. That’s to be expected.
But rather than achieving or heaven forbid discarded a ripped pair of jeans, you should repair them. That’s how Pey from The Netherlands started his business, Sashiko Denim. Here’s his story.
What’s your story?
Birth year: 1983
Location: Haarlem, The Netherlands
Profession: Retail architect and repair artist
I’m the proud father of two boys (ages three and four). They’re also weekly returning clients 😅
Pey’s Instagram Feed and How It Started
Thomas: How did it all start with your Instagram feed?
Pey: I started my feed in 2015 because I wanted an online archive of my work. As all my work goes back to people who enjoy wearing it, I had no reference to show new customers. Before I knew it, I was heading to 1000 followers and the jeans started coming from all parts of the world.
I do all the work alone; contact, repairs, packaging, branding, postage, invoices, photography. I work whenever I feel like it, for my work it’s important to be calm and relaxed. If I’m rushed or stressed it affects the work.
My needles and hands are the main tools. Next to that, I have personalised German and Japanese scissors and stacks of old jeans to reuse on repairs.
T: Why Instagram? What are your goals?
P: I use Instagram because of the ease and speed of use. My goal is to become an institution for hand-stitched denim repair, bring my work a higher level, but mostly to get people to repair rather than to replace.
T: How much time do you spend on Instagram on a daily basis?
P: On average one hour.
T: How do you take your photos?
P: I use a Canon 5D for macro shots and my iPhone X for stories.
T: What are your favourite locations to take photos?
P: In my home, on the light grey floor.
T: Do you repost? And why or why not?
P: No, I force myself to create new work. I strive to fill the world with original work, don’t repost reposts to gain followers. No two jeans are the same, every repair is different, and so should every post.
How Pey Got Into Denim and Sashiko
T: How did you get into and learn sashiko?
P: After only 6 months of wear, my favourite jeans ripped. I didn’t want to buy a new one, and it seemed silly to go back to the store.
Instead, I started researching the essence of cloth repair. The research took me back 400 years to the Japanese sashiko technique which literally means ‘little stab.’
I then took the fifth pocket of the jeans and stitched that on the knee. This was when I got hooked. It looked like sh*t but I loved doing it.
T: What’s your favourite fit? And what’s your least favourite fit?
P: Right now a loose fit, very comfortable. I never liked the skinny fit.
T: What is favourite pair of jeans?
P: Right now, I’m wearing an Evisu 2000. Before this one, I lived in a pair of BDD006 for some time. That fabric fades amazingly and the details are spot on. I changed to the Evisu because I wanted a loose fit.
T: How do you wash your denim?
P: With washnuts in a bucket of hand-warm water outside on the curb.
T: Which boots and leather goods do you wear with your denim?
P: I either wear Nikes or Santonis, so Flyknit or Italian leather. I’m not into the whole Red Wing/cowboy belt look 🤠
My wallet is leather, made it myself at my friend Karel’s workshop, Leatherlands.
T: What styling tips would you give your followers if they wanted your style?
P: Get your own personal uniform, be confident and don’t replicate.