SJC is excited to announce the launch of new denim for Summer '19, in two new styles: the Boston and the Mule Spinner!
To celebrate, we thought we'd share a little insight into the manufacturing process.
SJC Denim being woven on a shuttle loom.
The Process - Quality Materials and Authentic Manufacture
Long Stable Cotton
The art of producing superior quality denim begins with the sourcing of quality materials to be used in its construction. For SJC denim, we have opted for long stable cotton from China’s north-west region of Xinjiang. The regional climate and advanced techniques for cultivation create unusually long cotton that when woven into fabric gives an exceptionally soft finish.
Xinjian enjoys ideal ecological conditions for growing cotton.
Cotton produced in Xinjiang is hailed as better for garment production than Zimbabwe or Supima cotton. It enables us to achieve denim with a luxurious character and our signature slubby texture.
A comparison of cotton lengths, showing the superior length of Xinjiang cotton.
Xinjiang long stable cotton also carries other unique and desirable qualities. It offers a softer, far more breathable and naturally elastic wearing experience, and does so without compromising on classic appearance. It also has better retention of the indigo dye that so many denim enthusiasts are fond of.
Close-up of SJC's new denim weave. Note the slubby texturing offered by the Xinjiang cotton.
Furthermore, our usage of long staple cotton from Xinjiang also carries a reduced carbon footprint when compared with manufacture in countries without native cotton production which depend on international cotton imports – for example Japan.
After the cotton has been harvested and spun, it is dyed using an American rope dyeing machine made by Morrison, the world’s leader in indigo dyeing technology. This is the first stage in the manufacturing process that provides and preserves the unique character of American denim, using the best natural indigo dye.
The warp yarn is passed through the dye free of unnecessary tension by rotation on an elliptical axis. The process is gentle and slow to allow for maximum immersion time in the dye solution. Using this process, the denim is dyed thirteen times to achieve the correct shade of indigo, characteristic of classic American-made denim.
An authentic 'Morrison' Rope Dyeing Machine in action.
After the cotton is dyed, it is then ready to be woven into a roll of denim twill. For this, our manufacturer has acquired a number of short shuttle looms which create the signature selvedge characteristic of classic, quality denim.
31" shuttle looms weaving an excellent selvedge finish on SJC denim.
The word ‘selvedge’ itself refers to the narrow, tightly woven edge of the denim. It almost eliminates the possibility of the denim fraying from the edges and provides a neat finish. It is a characteristic feature of premium denim and is only possible when using the shorter 31” shuttle looms. The term ‘selvedge’ is derived from how the loom, given its short length, ‘self-edges’ the denim.
Finished selvedge on the Mule Spinner Trouser.
For us, using selvedge denim to manufacture our workwear trousers is a no-brainer.
The factory floor - shuttle looms in full swing.
Sanforization is a traditional process of pre-shrinking the cloth so that when made into garments, it does not shrink upon washing. Invented by Sanford Lockwood Cluett and first patented in 1930, sanforization sees the denim fed into the machine and moistened with steam to encourage shrinkage. It is then stretched through a number of rubber belts and cylinders before being compacted to its final state.
The sanforization process in progress.
Sanforized denim soon became a staple in the hay-day of American department store and mail order commerce, from companies such as Montgomery Ward & Co. and Roebuck & Co. It became increasingly popular since customers could be confident they were ordering the right size. The same is true for SJC customers ordering online today.
An Autumn excerpt from a 1927 Montgomery Ward catalogue.
The Product - Classic Denim, Classic Style
Of the two denims for SJC’s Spring/Summer 2019 collection, the first is a 100% cotton 5oz selvedge shirting denim, and the second is a lightweight denim blend of 11oz 35% linen 65% cotton weave that is naturally soft and breathable and exclusive to SJC. The linen adds a lovely slubby texture which adds a great look and feel to the denim. Blending linen with cotton also resembles attempts made by other brands to blend raw sugar cane into their denim, but without the notorious itchiness that wearers of sugar cane denim often complain of.
The Mule Spinner Trouser worn with SJC enamel and canvas belt.
This Summer, SJC is releasing a denim work shirt and two new denim. When designing classic workwear trousers, most denim companies will default to jeans based on styles and cuts from the 1940s, 50s and 60s. Deviating from that well-worn path, SJC has ventured into earlier styles of workwear that are simply unavailable elsewhere.
SJC summer denim workshirt paired with the Mule Spinner Trouser.
The Boston Trouser
The Boston Trouser is based on an original pair of British Edwardian workwear trousers. Characteristic of the period, it features a narrow-leg cut and high rise. Unlike contemporary narrow or slim-fit jeans, they maintain a classic seat and thigh, tapering from the knee to an 8” hem. Among its most distinctive features are: a fishtail back with external suspender buttons, a coin pocket flap, cinch belt back, cream herringbone pocket bags and black wreath donut buttons.
SJC Boston Trouser paired with the Deco Dot braces and Zigzag Shirt.
The Mule Spinner Trouser
The Mule Spinner Trouser takes on many of the stylistic features that came with the rapidly evolving fashions in the first decades of the 20th century. In terms of fit, it shares the same classic seat and thigh of the Boston Trouser but continues from the knee in a straight fit. Among its most distinctive features are: straight waistband with internal suspender buttons, belt loops, a single rear patch-pocket, cinch belt-back, jetted coin pocket and black wreath donut buttons.
The Mule Spinner Trouser seen here with the Vintage Black Balmoral Boots.
It is for this reason that we offer unusual combinations of style and cut out of the denim we dutifully recreate. In doing so we hope to bring our audience something truly special.