Pure Blue Japan XX-014 “Purple Face” jeans

I suppose Pure Blue Japan really doesn’t need to be introduced…their world wide distribution has steadily grown over the past few years and their signature slubby, coloured-weft denims are well known among enthusiasts. Having been around for 19 years, PBJ doesn’t release new models all that often, but their staple offerings remain¬†excellent choices despite the mounting competition from Japanese and overseas¬†brands.

This pair of XX-014 featured here was originally a Blue in Green collaboration…which many shops are now stocking (?). The XX-014 is a slim, tapered fit – a more modern cut compared with the original XX-010 Purple Face. The rise is low-medium¬†for a Japanese make. The slimness is noticeable from the upper thigh downwards, while the taper is only mild compared with the overall slimness of the legs.

The denim is a 14 oz unsanforised, RHT fabric with a blue line selvedge, nicknamed “Purple Face” due to the purple dyed weft. Like most PBJ fabrics, this denim rolls off a couple of old Toyoda power looms in an unnamed mill somewhere in Okayama.

The warp is pure indigo rope dyed, while the weft is purple to the core.¬†The effect is that the denim looks an incredibly dark shade of indigo in indoor and indirect lighting.¬†In full sunlight, however, the purple goes wild…very purple indeed.

If you cuff these jeans, expect an eyeful of purple!

This Purple Face denim is also notable for its slubby, moderately hairy and rather rough hand-feel. However, it is comfortable and breathable when worn. This contradiction between it’s rough & slubby hand and the comfort upon wearing is likely due to two factors:

One, the loose weave done slowly on the old power loom. Two, the weft utilises extra-long staple cotton from Zimbabwe (I measured one strand at 40 mm), whilst most of the warp utilises shorter yarns, apparently made with cotton from Texas.

The end result is a fabric with the unevenness & curious handling of early 20th century denims, but with improved comfort and durability.

I know what you’re thinking – “Hey Mike, wouldn’t this denim fade really weirdly?”

Surprisingly, no! Check out PBJ’s official two-year aged sample.

The stitch work is nicely done. I am especially impressed by the 4 different stitch colours being used in at least three¬†different sizes. The black and purple dual tone chain-stitch is especially catching on the indigo & purple fabric. Clean, smooth and unobtrusive (for a pair of purple pants anyway) – these pants are nicely put together, and make no attempt to give a Americana or reproduction feeling…instead, a diligent & tidy Japanese approach is evident.

This pair has the classic PBJ patch in the Syoaiya variant (international version), which is made of thin deer skin that has been treated to be water-resistant, and features a Japanese dude soaking a pair of jeans. This style of patching is less maintenance intense compared to a thick, vegetable tanned patch, as the leather proves to be much more water and heat resistant.

Of course, the signature embroidery in the form of the leaf of the indigofera plant is very noticeable on the right back pocket.

Twill pocket fabric is dyed black. Soft hand, but sturdy. My pair must come from slightly older stock, as the pocket print informs me that this pair is a special Blue in Green collaboration…and I didn’t buy it from BiG:-/

The nickel buttons are customed front and back – the indigofera leaves on the backings are a nice touch. The rivets are plain, with two types being used – the hidden rivets are copper, whereas the pocket rivets are plated to match the colour of the raw denim.

~

Everything considered, this is a great pair of jeans. Similar to PBJ’s other offerings, there are no glaring faults, and everything is well considered and nicely put together – giving the sum of its parts a certain feel that makes them stand out¬†among other specialty denim jeans, which can sometimes come across as a little boring. However, these are not reproduction jeans, and not everybody will be¬†interested in¬†coloured weft denims. Most of PBJ’s offerings, including this XX-014, will likely not appeal to denim purists.

That said, if you are a fan of Japan Blue’s exotic denims like I am (e.g.¬†the Godzilla brown weft jeans I recently reviewed), Pure Blue Japan jeans may be considered a direct upgrade¬†-perhaps even more so than Momotaro – in terms of the focus on interesting fabrics and coloured weft products.

Value wise, whilst the pricing of Pure Blue Japan jeans have increased slightly over the last few years, I believe they still represent a fair balance between product novelty, solid craftsmanship, interesting materials, brand premium and pricing. They may not be a top-down producer of jeans like The Flat Head or Japan Blue Group, but PBJ jeans have a distinct personality that is hard to describe and difficult to come by.

For pure value in Japanese denim, you are unlikely to do better than Edwin, Sugar Cane or Japan Blue. For reproduction detailing you won’t likely surpass Studio D’Artisan, Fullcount, Warehouse or, more recently, heavy hitter Connors Sewing Factory…

…but if you are a fabric nerd or a connoisseur of tactile stimuli, these Purple Face jeans (either the XX-010 or XX-014)¬†from Pure Blue Japan¬†is a must try at some point, and represent better value compared to Samurai’s various special edition denims. If you don’t like purple, PBJ’s other¬†offerings such as the super-slub denim,¬†the 24 oz denim, the indigo x indigo and even the Ai dye denim are¬†also worthy considerations.

Pure Blue Japan XX-014 “Purple Face” jeans

Japan Blue JB0626 “Godzilla”

Japan Blue?

It’s another brand which slowly became popular over the past few years while I wasn’t paying attention. They are not a new player though, but part of the one-stop jeans machine that is the Japan Blue Group, encompassing Rampuya (dye), Collect Mills (fabric), Momotaro (premium jeans) and Japan Blue (entry level jeans).

The unusual¬†fabric and the modern cut caught my eye, so instead of a pair of Momotaro’s, I’ve chosen to commit to this very cool Godzilla denim.

This “high tapered” fit is a fairly modern fit – moderately¬†high rise, fair¬†amount of¬†room in the thighs, but¬†tapering very aggressively from the knee down. This results in a comfortable fit, good movement in the top block, a slim silhouette and strong¬†stacking near the hem.

This is a sanforised 18 oz RHT denim with exaggerated irregularity & slubbing nicknamed “Godzilla” from Collect Mills.

Godzilla is the successor to Japan Blue’s previous top-of-line “Monster” denim. Warp is rope dyed with indigo. Weft is dyed to the core in brown/malt. This is a very tactile fabric, with a relatively rigid hand. Godzilla will fade very fast, as you can see in the two week photo a little further down the page.

I’m guessing the intention is for a quick path towards vintage-looking, dusty fading patterns. Expect some shrinkage with the first wash, but hem & seam roping effects probably would not become pronounced until the 2nd or 3rd wash.

The cotton used is apparently blended and not single origin. I have no idea what this blend includes. On examining the loose bits of cotton from the belt loops and testing the hand of the denim, I would guess medium and short staple cottons were utilised.

This is a modern Japanese style of denim fabric. The exaggerated irregularity and slub formation reminds me of some of Oni and Eternal’s older fabrics. This Godzilla denim appears much more layered though, likely due to the play between the¬†two different colours in the denim.

Straw coloured threads in a couple of sizes are present. The monotone stitching are basic, but neat. All the necessary reinforcements are made, apart from hidden back-pocket rivets or a crotch rivet Рthese areas are bar-tacked instead.

Don’t expect reproduction style, thick¬†dual tone chain-stitches with specialist repro cotton threads – you’re in the wrong price bracket – better to look at the company’s¬†Momotaro or Rampuya brands instead.

The coin pocket is folded selvedge, not chain-stitched.

The hardware consists of basic brass buttons & punch-thru rivets with plain backings.

The patch is made of cattlehide, dyed indigo. The standard Japan Blue logo is embossed on the patch. This leather seems to wear well, showing little disturbance by washing or drying.

The pockets are made out of medium weight sashiko fabric. This adds some interest to the jeans, but it isn’t¬†a particular rugged fabric, nor was it shirting quality.

~

All in all, this is a modern pair of enthusiast Japanese jeans.

In many ways this pair of Godzilla jeans epitomises “Japanese raw selvedge denim”.

This is not an obsessive reproduction. This is not modern Americana.

But it is a good example of a pair of Japanese jeans with a nice fit and a fun fabric, which can be expected to develop a high contrast fade relatively quickly.

The fit and the¬†denim¬†are to my liking, and I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending the Godzilla jeans to beginner and intermediate denim hobbyists.

The is especially considering the lower price and great value compared with the traditional Big 5 offerings.

For advanced denim geeks, due to the just-good-enough construction and basic peripherals, you might like to spend a bit more money on Momotaro’s for your Collect Mills fabric fix.

Japan Blue JB0626 “Godzilla”

Boncoura!

Having not purchased any denim for some time, I was out of the loop with the latest developments in the denim world. SuFu folks recommended a few brands – repro-focused makers which were little known or barely launched when I stopped keeping in touch with the hobby – all of which I’m keen to try at some point. Denim Bridge, Connor’s Sewing Factory, Boncoura, etc.

Boncoura was the most readily accessible, so here I am with my first pair!

First up…I don’t actually know a whole lot about Boncoura.

From my limited reading of blurbs by Japanese and overseas stockists, I gather that¬†Boncoura was launched in 2011, by designer¬†and former salaryman¬†Hisashi Morishima, out of Osaka.¬†Boncoura’s designs are influenced by early Levi’s, but its jeans are not strict reproductions, and include subtle modern detailing. The brand seems to have a large number of overseas stockists than one might expect for an obscure Japanese start-up…this left me curious as to why.

Let’s take a look.

My initial impressions of the fit & fabric (pre-soak)? This pair of Boncoura 66 kinda reminds me of the old era Denime jeans for some reason. This is a good thing!

The fit is a relatively high-waist slim straight leg with a slight taper. Be warned that the length of Boncoura¬†jeans is on the shorter side – if you are more than 185 cm, Boncoura’s current models will be too short for you.

The fabric is not immediately eye catching, though its qualities become clear once it is handled. The denim is 14.5 oz pre-soak, mildly irregular, with a superb hand. It is somewhat stiff pre-soak, but handles softly. In this respect the denim reminds me of some of Cone Mills’¬†better denims. Signet says the cotton is a blend of American and Australian…whatever the blend is, the outcome has been excellent. Apparently Morishima-san had the denims customised from the cotton up, producing in small quantities on an old power loom.

Post-soak, the denim tightens, darkens and becomes somewhat hairy.

The indigo is fairly dark and consistent – looks the shade of pure indigo, and from the way it’s rubbing off, I dare say it is rope dyed. The selvedge is somewhat unusual – white at first glance, but on closer inspection it is a light shade of purple. The colour really pops post-soak.

Looking at the stitch-work and how the jeans had been put together puts a smile of my face. Obviously Morishima-san is a man who is obsessive and detail focused. The stitches are very well done, as neat and clean as any I have seen over the past 11 years of collecting pants – on par with Real Japan Blues, The Flat Head, Satobiki-line Sugar Canes, etc. A variety of different stitches and variously sized threads are used…again, very clean & very neatly sewn.

Which ever workshop made these pants had been paying extra attention to their garments! Check out that inseam. Look at the button holes. Details!

Let’s consider the peripherals.

The patch is made of a very nice leather, I’m guessing deerskin.

The design has been beautifully printed, and I’m really digging the patch.

You know sometimes our favourite repro brands all have quirks in their patches? Samurais, typos, snakeskin?

Not Boncoura. The leather is high quality. The print is well done. The design is classic and elegant.

The patch speaks to me about the qualities of Boncoura: No frills. Just basic things done thoughtfully, and done well on a vintage typing machine.

The front pockets are made of shirting grade herringbone. One of the highest quality pocket cloths I’ve seen. I’d wear a shirt made out of this herringbone!

To the hardware. Well, they are damned nice!

All the buttons and rivets are solid & custom-made for Boncoura.¬†Out of the 20+ pairs of Japanese jeans I have hanging next to me, Boncoura’s hardware would be somewhere in the top 5. I¬†can’t wait to see how they might age.

The belt loops, whilst not raised, are neatly and securely attached.

~

All in all, very impressed by Boncoura’s jeans.

At 30,000 yen, they are slightly more expensive than the average offering from our favourite Japanese brands, but the money goes to where it matters – quality of materials, attention to crafting, and thoughtful design work.

These jeans are no frills, certainly – you won’t find coloured wefts, extra large slubs or exotic patches.

Boncoura will likely appeal to the seasoned denim hobbyist, people with obsessive focuses on quality and craftsmanship.

Beginner hobbyists will likely find more satisfaction with quirkier brands like Oni or Samurai.

 

 

 

Boncoura!

Attention to Details: An Interview with Charlie of Equus Leather

Hi folks, we’re beginning a series of conversations with¬†a few craftspeople from around the world. First is a very interesting¬†discussion with Charlie of the well regarded British workshop Equus Leather.

“Hi Charlie, Thank you for spending some time with us! Firstly, for those unfamiliar with your work, could you please tell us about Equus Leather and the people behind it? ”

Equus Leather was founded by my wife Dawn and I eight years ago, as much as anything simply because I couldn’t find a belt made to the standards of workmanship or leather I wanted. I’ve worked with leather for 20 years or so, initially making saddlery, and we are still strongly influenced by the equestrian world from which we come. Every single piece we make is entirely hand stitched and made from start to finish by our team here in England.

I run the creative side of the business, and still make a lot of the more complex products myself, as well as the design work and training across our small team. Dawn runs the Customer Service side of the business and sends the products we make all over the world. We’re still a small business, dedicated to making absolutely the best products we can. We’re best known for our belt collection, but we also make watch straps, wallets and products for our canine &¬†equine customers as well as truly bespoke orders which can be anything the customer can think of! We work a lot with¬†true English Bridle leather, including the oak bark tanned leather from J & FJ Baker. We also work with calf and exotic leathers now, too. My aim for the business – what we work towards each day – is for us to make the best leather goods in the world.

‚ÄúFor those of us who are unfamiliar with English Bridle leather, could you help us understand why Equus Leather prefers bridle for belts and straps? Practically and aesthetically, how is it different from, say, chrome or oil-tanned leathers?‚ÄĚ

Our background and heritage is saddlery, so Bridle leather is very much the material with which we are most at home. As a result you might say, “They would think that’s the best, wouldn’t they?”. I suppose that’s true, but it’s a wonderful material for belts because it’s just the right thickness, it’s not too stiff or too soft, it’s made here in England and it ages beautifully ‚Äď a key factor for us ‚Äď it looks great when new but also it can look great 20 years later. True bridle leather is vegetable tanned, which is a fundamentally different thing from¬†a chrome tanned leather.

Chrome tanned leathers are usually softer, so not good for a single layer belt. Also, whilst they are difficult to scratch or mark, once they have been scratched the mark is there forever. Whereas with vegetable tanned leather marks and scratches tend to disappear over time, so it is ideal for a long lived belt. We do use chrome and combination tanned leathers for our fully stitched formal and double layer belts, and you can achieve things with them that you can’t with bridle or other vegetable tanned leathers, but for a single layer belt in particular Bridle leather is pretty much unbeatable.

‚ÄúMany people new to quality leather goods often remark that they cannot tell the difference between different makes of belts or watch straps. In your professional opinion, what separates a high quality belt or strap from a pedestrian one? What are the finer details we should be examining?‚ÄĚ

I think this is largely because most people have never seen really good leatherwork, which is¬†unusual, specialist and expensive. On the whole the only thing to be chosen between high street/mall brands is the logo; they are all made in low labour cost countries in the same way using similar low cost materials, hence people think all leatherwork is the same…at that level really it is.

I think primarily it’s¬†first impression:¬†If something is made well using good materials, it should look like that! If it looks average, it probably is. It should also feel good ‚Äď it should be tactile, feel good in the hand without being rough anywhere. The quality of materials is a key thing, and good leather stands out. After that it’s looking at stitching, edge finishing, fittings, the details that make the whole. Become a detail freak and you’ll quickly learn to differentiate.

I think this applies to may things, not just leatherwork, the details are what tell the tale of the care with which something was made ‚Äď car, house, belt or whatever. You don’t have to be able to make whatever it is, or even have studied the techniques for years. Poor workmanship tends to stand out if you look at something at the macro level.

‚ÄúEquus Leather also seems to have a focus on the quality of buckles, the limited edition Retetsu & Japanese Damascus buckles look especially nice. What is your professional opinion on what we should be looking for in a buckle, and the qualities of the different metals potentially used?‚ÄĚ

We do put a lot of time and effort in to buckles, from the most simple up to the work we do with precious metals and Damascus. I’ve always said that a product is the sum of its details, so all the details have to be right, including the metalwork. It’s such an important part of a belt, really the part you interact with the most – you should love it as much as the leatherwork.

The factors to look for are rather like leather: look at the details, the finish, the quality of construction, the feel of the buckle in your hand. It’s important to know what the buckle is made from,¬†as many¬†are a really light alloy plated to achieve a colour effect.

It’s never going to work out well if your buckle is described by the vendor as “Gold Coloured”! What does that mean, other than they really don’t care about it other than its vaguely the colour they want?

Solid metals are always the most long lived option, so try to buy buckles that haven’t been lacquered. The lacquer will fail over time and look horrendous. If you need to buy a buckle with a plated finish, buy it from somewhere that will¬†finish it well so you get a good, thick layer.

‚ÄúI see that Equus Leather offers a large variety of different belt styles, buckle choices and leather selection. Do you have any advice for potential customers in terms of matching these options with their intended outfits? In particular, any thoughts on what might be suitable for people who are interested in raw/loomstate denim?‚ÄĚ

We do have a huge amount of choices! I think you should try to match character, largely, so with raw denim the Oak Bark tanned leathers from Bakers are ideal. They have more character, more weight and a variegated colour that are perfect for that kind of thing. Of course the Russet colour is the stereotypical raw denim look, and it works well, but equally some of the other colours (London Tan, Oak Brown, Light Havanna and Dark Stain) work brilliantly too and give a more considered look, perhaps.

Once¬†you’ve matched on character, looking at the colour of the boots or shoes is a good next step – not to match perfectly, but a similar colour family is a good thing.

Above all buy and wear what you love! If you think a particular leather or colour is amazing and you love it, pick that one regardless of anything else. A contrarian approach is always a good thing. Wear the things you love, regardless of any rule book.


‚ÄúI know natural coloured, or russet, leather belts are not your house style. That said, Internet denim geeks seemed to have taken a liking to the russet Military belt you created back in 2011/2012. Could you share with us some tips regarding how we might best care for a natural coloured leather such as the Baker oak-tanned russet bridle?‚ÄĚ

In some ways its very much our house style, or at least a variation of it. Much¬†of our leather buying is based on the question “How will this age?” – the leather ageing and patination process is something I love. Personally, I prefer to start with a little ‚Äď but only a little ‚Äď more colour in the leather. Colours like Bakers London Tan, Fawn Baranil or Brandy Ostrich are¬†the perfect colours for me, and those are basically the colours that Russet will age to.

I love beyond all thing the rich brown colour of aged leathergoods. I collect Victorian and Edwardian luggage for instance just for that colour! So while un-dyed leather is a touch stark for me to start off with, the ageing and patination is something I care very much about.

In many ways the best way of achieving this colour is time and use – if you want something to look aged it has to be aged. Helping it age well is important though! I think that the Sedgwick Leatherfeed is one of the best products for the Russet ‚Äď it nourishes leather¬†well, it helps dull the starkness of brand new leather without altering it too much, and it helps soften new leather, but not too much. It’s a lanolin and beeswax based product, and any of the similar products will work well too, I imagine.


‚ÄúWhat effects do you think Brexit will have on the leather tanning & crafting industries in Britain?‚ÄĚ

It’s too early to be sure, but there are opportunities and threats from this. For sure, the destruction of the value of the pound is helping our buyers from overseas get a bargain, and I’m sure that other firms who sell in ¬£ are finding the same thing, so that has to be a good thing.

The problem for us comes from the fact we import our calf, exotic leathers and tools from France (we don’t make them here in England any more, sadly), and the collapse of the ¬£ is going to make those imports much more expensive, furthering¬†the difficulty of cross border trading. Brexit is¬†going to make business more difficult, complicated and costly…but it’s too early to be sure of exactly how it’s going to work, I think.


‚ÄúBridle stitching is an important aspect of leather work. What are the hallmarks of good stitch-work?‚ÄĚ

Actually, its Saddle Stitch, rather than Bridle Stitch, though of course just to be confusing its used for bridles!

The hallmarks of good saddle stitch is regularity. To stitch well, you have to do the same thing over and over again, precisely (and I mean precisely!) the same each time, and that should produce a stitch that’s the same every time. The stitch should be evenly spaced, of a correct pitch for the weight of leather used and evenly angled. The stitch is very distinctive and when you know the details its easy to recognise. Typically it has a front and back, the front being very uniform as the stitch marks make it so, and the reverse being a little less defined, but only a little less. You’ll pay a significant premium for well saddle stitched leatherwork, but it’s far superior to any machine stitching.

Take a look at some of our videos, we cover the process in some detail.

I could happily write dissertations about stitching, it is something I love.

‚ÄúHaha, Bridle Stitch? What was I thinking?”

“Could you tell us about the tanneries from which you source Equus Leather‚Äôs hides? Do you further process the leathers in house before crafting?‚ÄĚ

We buy from a number of the world’s best tanneries here in the UK and France. Our bridle leather comes from JE Sedgwick and J & FJ Baker here in the UK for instance, and our calf comes from Degermann and Annonay in France. On the whole we don’t process the leathers further, other than to thin it to the correct weight for the item we’re making. I take the view that the tanneries know their leather and techniques the best, and so if we want a particular colour or finish that’s what we buy. This is so the leather is as good as possible. I know many of the¬†small firms prefer to dye and finish themselves, but there’s no way to improve on the research the tanneries put into this so we prefer not to further process the leathers.

The tanneries we chose to work with are generally those who share an interest in similar types of leather to us. For instance, Bakers in Devon concentrate specifically on hand-made oak bark tanned bridle leather, with an extremely long (two year) tanning process and a hand-dying process that produces leather with beautiful natural colour variegation, which is¬†much nicer than the artificial antiquing that’s popular at the moment. Degermann make beautiful leather that’s tanned specifically to patinate beautifully, it’s combination tanned leather that’s enriched with a special liquor in the finishing process that means the leather starts out quite matt but burnishes to a beautiful aged finish. We spend a lot of time and energy searching out exactly the right leathers.


‚ÄúOutside of British Bridle, are there other leathers that you find interesting or would like to work with?‚ÄĚ

Many! To be fair we do already use many interesting leathers, such as the leather from the wreck of the Metta Catherina. We’re always experimenting and looking for more new leathers though, and searching¬†for interesting and unusual skins. Recently we’ve been concentrating on expanding the range of exotic leathers we have.¬†For instance, we have been sourcing great Ostrich skins. Ostrich isn’t very fashionable at the moment, but it has amazing wear and aging characteristics that make it well worth a thought – it fits in beautifully with our philosophy of how leather should get better with age.

‚ÄúShell cordovan seems to be experiencing a sort of renaissance. What are your thoughts about shell?‚ÄĚ

Shell is interesting. Strictly it isn’t leather. It isn’t made from skin…it’s made using a ligament sheet, hence its different appearance. Products made using it are certainly nice, but it’s not a leather we work with. Our background is making products for horses, so making products from horses doesn’t seem the right thing to do!

‚ÄúMany small label and single craftsman leather companies have popped up over the years, and many feature prominently on social media. The average customer is certainly offered many choices from around the world! From your professional perspective, what details would you look for to distinguish the work of an experienced professional from the work of a novice craftsman?‚ÄĚ

The resurgence in leatherwork has to be a good thing for the craft. The more people taking an interest, the healthier the craft as a whole. Leatherwork in some ways is very approachable ‚Äď to make a wallet, really you just need some leather, a knife, needles and thread ‚Äď so you can work from your bedroom. Really good work takes years & years of training, practice and a big investment in leather & tools. Just like my earlier answers, detail is everything, and the details will tell you the story of the product. The refinement of the leather, design, stitching, cutting and edging tell you the tale of the craftsman’s experience and talent. Even a fairly beginner product on Etsy should be somewhat better than a very cheap import from the Far East.

‚ÄúMany thanks for sharing with us Charlie. Any final thoughts or tips for us?‚ÄĚ

Buy what you love!

—END

Big thank you to Charlie!

Certainly, after wearing in a couple of Equus Leather belts over the past years, I have to say details and beautiful aging are present in spades!

You can see his world class belts & straps or request custom work over at Equus Leather.

Attention to Details: An Interview with Charlie of Equus Leather

Imperial – Shearers’

New batch of jeans for round 2. First up is a pair of Imperial Brand Clothing jeans!

Folks who’ve been in the hobby for a while would have heard about this Australian brand from way back. Self Edge has been a consistent stockist, and they do pop up here & there in more trendy shops here in Australia.

Anyway, the last time I checked them out was 2012…when they were still making their jeans in Australia.¬†To be very honest, as far as first impressions go, ¬†I didn’t fancy them all that much.¬†Although a local product to me, the construction (i.e. stitchwork, hardware, neatness, etc) felt lacking to me at that time (2012).

I decided to take another look more recently as I’ve heard they have moved production to Okayama, Japan.

What a difference it has made! Not only are they well made, but now also a value proposition if you were to purchase them in Australia!

The cut is one of an aggressive taper. Fairly roomy in the top block, good movement in the thighs, much slimmer from the knee down. The legs are slim but not tight, with enough room for some cuffing.

The fabric is 14.25 oz sanforised and has a very nice hand. This denim is on the softer side, with some loom-chatter and irregularity. A comfortable hand with a nice bit of character. The indigo is rather dark.

The back pocket wings live on!

$2 ?

I think I overpaidūüėõ

The patch is AWESOME! What a nice ram~

Decently thick natural vegetable tanned leather. One of my favorite jeans patches so far.

All the details that should have been there, now implemented!

The defining factor in my decision to make purchase? It’s the details. They should have been there…and now they are!

Raised belt loops.

Hidden rivets.

Custom copper hardware.

Impeccable colored stitching in different thread sizes.

Bar tacking and other reinforcements.

Chain-stitched hems.

Everything neatly put together!

Finally a pair of Australian jeans that’s denim nerd standard, even if they are made in Japan…

I would highly recommend beginner and intermediate denim enthusiasts to take another closer look at Imperial’s denim offerings. The modern styling and the upgraded construction makes these jeans a quirkier alternative to the¬†the growing leagues of Western brands and makers.

Many thanks to the good people at Half Sleeve in Sydney, who stock the full range of Imperials.

 

Sunny Sports french terry sweat. White’s Boots classic dress boots.
Imperial – Shearers’