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Japanese Paper Selvedge Denim. 24 Pairs Only.

Aug 26, 2021

Today we launch a unique and super rare denim.

A paper selvedge denim. 

At first, the idea of a jean made from paper might sound a little odd.

But hear me out.

This is no ordinary paper. This is Japanese Washi paper.

It is made from a wood pulp, which it turns out is remarkably strong.

The craft of making Washi paper is so revered and respected; it is registered as a UNESCO intangible cultural heritage.  

Centuries in the Making. 

Since the year 800, the Japanese have been unrivalled in their paper making skills. Their paper was not just made for writing on.

It was used to make toys, household items and yes, even clothes. 

Testament to its durability, many of these items still survive today. 

It Takes a GrandMaster to make Washi.

It takes a long old time to learn how to make a pair of jeans.

The same goes for Japanese Washi paper.

Washi is produced in a way similar to that of ordinary paper up to a certain point.

Then the master takes over.

It has taken many years to learn the skill, and many more to master. 

It involves a long and intricate process that is often undertaken in the cold weather of winter, as pure, cold running water is essential to the production of washi. 

Backstory. 

Production was often undertaken by farmers who were able to spare the extra time during the winter.  

The most commonly used fibre in the making of Japanese paper is mulberry. 

The branches are boiled and stripped of their outer bark and then dried. The fibres are then boiled and placed in running water to remove impurities. 

Any remaining impurities in the fibres are picked out by hand.

The end result is laid on a rock or board and beaten into shape. 

This is what makes it so unique.

And so blinking sought after.

Why Paper Makes A Great Jean?

​This is counterintuitive, I know.

But stay with me.

You see, the reason that paper makes such a good bedfellow for denim is this:

Paper yarn is the same thickness as cotton but much lighter.

Therefore, it allows for a high level of breathability - perfect for humid summers.

If you can achieve the ultimate balance between cotton and paper, you have a monumentally beautiful pair of jeans.

And that is where the skill lies.

This is where the Grandmasters of Washi come into their own.

From paper, from centuries of learning, from a love of their craft, they can create one the most comfortable jeans you will ever wear. 

So, where do you go to find a denim like this? 

Well, it was not a long list.

For us, there was only one name on it.

The legendary Japanese mill Nihon Menpu.

(Whenever I think of them, I think of Jiro dreams of sushi.)

There is a reason why it is so hard to get hold of their denim. Because those who truly know denim go to them. The demand is greater than the supply.

They are mavericks. They continue to push. They are on a quest to make the ultimate denim.

They leave compromises to others.

The Ultimate Paper Denim Jean.

This paper denim is the best in the world.

They have beautifully paired tradition and innovation to make these remarkable 13oz rich indigo red-line selvedge paper jeans. 

Like, only they know how.

We have enough to make 24 pairs. 

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