MANUFACTURING

COMPLEXITY IS KEY

Manufacturing a blue jean in Japan can be a very complex process.

In comparison – larger factories around the world house nearly all components of the sourcing and manufacturing process under one roof. Massive factories can provide fabric, trim, handle finishing and execute nearly all of the necessary jeans-making operations – a literal one stop shop.

Large companies rely on a streamlined approach to juggle the tens of thousands of blue jeans they need to make each week. It makes the process easier but waters down the product. If you don’t have new eyes looking at the product at each step – it gets watered down.

There are large factories in Japan but TCB is not one of them – it may be one of the smallest in fact. They only provide 1 step in the manufacturing process but that is a vital service – sewing.

A general outline of how our Japanese denim production takes place – here are the steps :

Cotton is imported – XYZ supplier spins the cotton into yarn. (in Osaka – get details)
We requested a ‘low tech’ yarn that wasn’t touched too much and had a homespun feel to it.

Sakamoto dips the yarns in indigo.
We tried to get in and show you pictures – no one that doesn’t work for Sakamoto san has been back there in 20+ years! (these were the cool Hipstimatic photos of the guy in a suit)

Morita weaves fabric – selvage only.
We created a custom selvage with Marita san’s guidance. 10 looms, 1 room and he’s been doing it for 40 years.

Finishing – woven selvage is sent to ABC for sanforization/finishing.
We need to go there to see this part of the process still :)

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