What Makes Tenue. Japanese Raw Denims So Special – Tenue de Nîmes

Why do we love raw denim? Well, there are a few reasons why. First of all, raw denim is the most sustainable choice you can make when buying jeans. The denim fabric is untreated, which means that no water or chemicals were used to create a washed effect. Also, since the jeans aren’t treated, the denim fabric is in its best condition possible. Due to this, raw denim tends to last longer than its washed counterparts. In a world where fast fashion is the zeitgeist, we think that raw denim can be the answer to a more sustainable wardrobe. A pair, if treated properly, could easily last you a decade! Now, what is more sustainable than that? Secondly, raw denim is as personal as it gets. You’ll probably have a love-hate-relation with your pair the first two weeks (as you should buy them tight) but after that, the jeans will form to your body and become as comfortable as can be. Let us not forget the fading! With each wear and wash, the jeans will change and become more and more beautiful. You can also control the fading to your liking. Are you looking for super heavy colour contrasts in the denim fabric? Wear them as long as possible without washing. Is a more even fade with less contrast your cup of tea? Then you should wash them regularly. It’s great to experiment with this and to find your perfect method of treatment.

A pair of Tenue. Pablo True Blue jeans before and after intensive wear.

Within the world of raw denim, there is a force to be reckoned with - Japanese denim. Blue jeans used to be the working man's uniform in the States during the best part of the 20th century. Unfortunately, most of the denim craftsmanship moved out of the US to other parts of the world. In these parts, the jeans could be produced cheaper but of lesser quality. Japan, however, was able to revive this lost art in the second half of the 20th century. Not only did they revive it, in many cases they improved it. Nowadays, Japan is at the forefront of denim innovation and production. Especially their raw denim gets denim heads from over the whole world excited. Luckily, Tenue. produces some of their finest jeans from truly iconic Japanese denim fabric.

A close up of Tenue.'s Japanese denim masterpiece, the Pablo True Blue.

First up is the Pablo Smoke Black. This pair of black jeans is made from a 13.5oz selvedge denim fabric that is produced by the super-niche Mihon Nenpu mill. The fabric smells like gunpowder because it has been dyed in sulfur. This will assure the jeans fade grey, not brown. The second is the Pablo True Blue II. These jeans are made from 14.5oz denim fabric with an iconic red selvedge line. These jeans thank their name to the dark blue indigo colour of the denim fabric. Third, is the Pablo Ever Dye II. This is Tenue.’s most luxurious denim fabric. It is a 14.5oz deadstock selvedge fabric that has a green cast indigo colour. Over time, these jeans will reveal an extraordinary blue/green fade. Finally, there is the Pablo Broken Spoke II. These blue jeans thank their name to the zig-zag pattern that was created to avoid twisted legs. The fabric used is a bright blue broken twill 12.5oz fabric, inspired by the 70s. The Broken Spoke also features another old school detail, a double felled outerseam. All these jeans are made in the Kojima denim factory in Japan by our friend Hiro. In this factory, they pay close attention to detail and the preservation of old school characteristics.

We would not dare to break that stride, so, our tailor complies. For our free hemming and repair service our in-house tailor, Joery, uses vintage machines such as a Singer Darning machine, or a Dürkopp flatbed machine, both from the 80s. He also uses original chain stitch machines such as a Singer 114W103 single chain stitch from the early 1900s for embroideries, and a Union Special 4-needle chainstitch machine from the early 70s to alter waistbands. When hemming your jeans, Joery uses a Union Special 43200G ‘The Bulldog’ , also dating back to the early 70s. All the threads he uses for the repairs are the same as in the factory, so it’ll never look out of place.

Our in-house tailor Joery working his magic on one of his vintage machines.

You can find all of Tenue.’s Japanese denim jeans right here! If this small blog sparked an interest, we urge you to do some research. There are so many amazing heritage stories on Japanese raw denim. We guarantee it will make you appreciate your pair even more!