Douglas Luhanko has dedicated his life to denim. Last year, together with his partner, Kerstin Neumüller, he published a handbook about indigo in Swedish. Now it’s available in English as well. I’ve talked to the couple about why they wrote the book and what they hope to achieve with it.
Have you noticed how the colour of your jeans changes as you wear and wash them? It’s called ‘fading’—and it’s because of how denim is dyed that it happens.
Although the internet has made learning easier than ever, we’re still drawn to knowledge on paper. We somehow trust printed knowledge a little more; maybe because it’s harder or maybe because it’s more prestigious?
If you want knowledge about denim on paper, these are some of my favourite denim books that I think every denimhead should read; books that inspired me and helped me write Blue Blooded.
It’s through denim that I became acquainted with indigo—something that has become a hobby of mine in its own right. Many denimheads dream of making their own jeans, including making the fabric. It’s through this interest that I got acquainted with indigo as a dye, and fell in love with the Japanese technique of shibori.
The world of denim has its own specialised language with technical terms that is expected to be mastered by anyone working in the business.
This denim glossary explains in the simplest way possible 22 of the most commonly used terms.
We explore the origins of the iconic indigo dye that has been used on everything from Tutankhamun’s funerary garb to the jeans you are wearing right now.
Cotton evolved a lot in the previous decades: production, genetics, etc. It may even disappear as the natural fibre we know in most clothing.
The Story of Indigofera started with one natural indigo denim with an almost unbelievable price If you ask me, Indigofera is one of the most underrated denim brands in the market. The uniquely developed denims are amazing, the fits are spot on, and the details are subtle yet striking. However, prices are relatively high and some aficionados may question the “Made in Portugal” label, not to mention the missing chain stitched hem. Once you understand that the brand is all about fabrics that fade unbelievably beautifully, you forget all the snobbery and actually start to appreciate that these guys dare to do it different. Found the Fabric in Japan by Change While developing Indigofera back in 2007-2008, founders Mats Andersson and Johan Söderlund did a lot of researching and prototyping. At one point early in the process they came by one truly exceptional fabric milled at one of the small premium mills in Japan’s Okayama area. They ended up using it for their first production run. The Details of the Natural Indigo Fabric The weight of this special loom state denim is 16 oz., but more importantly it’s 100% natural indigo dyed. Using rope-dyeing techniques the dyestuff hasn’t penetrated to the core of the yarn. The result is amazing fades. Mats tells me that natural indigo-dyed denim has a tendency to over-bleed and saturate the entire fabric, but the rope dyeing means this doesn’t happen to this denim. He admits that launching the brand with a ‘kick-ass’ fabric like this it may have been a bit premature. “I do not think I have seen anything more beautiful before or after this fabric came our way. And there was only 100 metres done, how can anyone resist that?” To Mats’ knowledge, aside from those magical 100 metres, the fabric has not been produce…