Thursday 20 May 2021

A closer look at work shirt fabrics

Work shirts: no wardrobe is complete without at least one or two quality pieces that will last years and years. Most of the work shirts we carry are made out of cotton and dyed with indigo, but what exactly are the different types of fabric you see listed in the online shop? Let's zoom in on denim, chambray, wabash, and hickory.

Starting out with the most obvious of choices: straight-up denim. Usually a lighter weight than your jeans (it would qualify as a jacket, otherwise) at about 8 to 10oz. Many denim shirts are created in a western style pattern, with pearl snap buttons and a tapered yoke on the back. The chest pockets have different styles: the Barstow (a single point on the flap) and the Sawtooth (two points on the flap) are the most popular styles. We carry (western) style denim shirts from several brands like Full Count, The Flat Head and Samurai Jeans.

A fabric that has already been around for centuries. This fabric is usually easier to wear than a denim shirt, due to the light plain-weave invented by weavers from Cambric, a city in the north of France. They originally named the fabric after their city, but the name 'chambray' replaced 'cambric' in the early 19th century in the United States. You'll often see chambray shirts in grey and light blue tones. This indigo-dyed version by Trophy Clothing is a fine example. Chambray used to be popular in the working class for a long time before the US Navy also included it in their uniform options, offering trousers and shirts out of chambray.

In the 1830s, a company called Stifel introduced their version of chambray which had a trademark identifier: vertical rows of tightly placed dots, which look like stripes (or even a formal pinstripe) from a distance. The dots were made by adding small drops of starch in continued lines down the fabric which didn't allow the indigo to settle, creating the pattern. Stifel produced work clothes like overalls for railroad workers, but has been out of business since 1957. Luckily, several Japanese companies still offer wabash shirts like UES and The Flat Head.

As wabash, hickory finds its roots in the railroad industry as well. A thick, durable type of fabric that was capable of withstanding hard days of work. The fabric can easily be recognized with the blue and white stripes, and was made by all-American companies like Lee and Pointer. Nowadays we can enjoy propper hickory by UES.

Thursday 13 May 2021

Studio D'artisan and the oldest loom in Japan

Studio D'artisan is a staple name in the world of Japanese denim. Founded in 1979, they've been around in the game when Levi's was still manufacturing every 501 out of selvedge denim. They are responsible for a lot of people falling in love with denim, and of course, the brand feels right at home at DC4.

The Osaka-based brand has always been able to surprise. This time it's about the loom they're using for the Studio D'artisan SD-903 jeans, which have been woven on a vintage Toyoda (now knows as Toyota) G3 loom. When the loom was first released it was state-of-the-art, but compared to modern looms it's an antique relic. 

And that's precisely why it's special: the slow weaving speeds only let the loom produce about 5 meters of fabric per hour. It's also very hard to operate and as you can imagine, spare parts are hard to come by, if they are available at all. Studio D'artisan has no guarantee the loom will still produce denim in the future, so if you want to get your hands on a piece of Japanese denim history, act fast.

The denim woven by the G3 loom resembles the rugged, uneven denim known from the 1950's and 1960's. Try the SD-903 yourself and find out why this denim is so special. The 14oz denim is made out of 100% cotton and comes with the classic arcuates on the back pockets. The slim straight fit is packed with details, like peek-a-boo selvedge on the coin pocket, beautiful rivets and buttons and a deer skin leather patch. It's been pre-washed, so you don't have to worry about any shrinkage. The price includes free shipping in Europe.

Monday 10 May 2021

Japanese interpretations of antique jeans

Originally jeans were produced purely as an item to use during hard labor. Carpenters, farmers, miners - they all benefited from the riveted quality goods produced by companies like Levi Strauss. Jeans back then didn't look like the stylized versions we know today: even belt loops weren't a thing yet.

To pay homage to that quintessential era of jeans, we offer two pairs that resemble the olden days. Both have a wider, straight cut and are of course hand made in Japan. They are made from approximately 14oz denim, which certainly is heavier than the cloth used over 100 years ago.

Denim Bridge 'S Antique' BR02 SA 02

This is the more modern interpretation of the two. This Denim Bridge jeans is a customized pair of jeans produced only for DC4. The details are based on jeans from several eras, it's a bit of a hotch-potch making it true homage pair. It features suspender buttons, but belt loops too. A cinch back and exposed back pocket rivets (seen on Levi's pre-1937).

Fullcount 'Son of the soil' 1373

Made from hand picked Zimbabwean cotton and hand-sewn in Okayama, the capital of denim in Japan. It features only one back pocket (like Levi's before approximately 1901), a cinch back to adjust the waist size and exposed back pocket rivets.

Thursday 29 April 2021

An interview with Denim Bridge founder Shingo-san

Recently, we added Denim Bridge to the jeans line-up at DC4. This small Japanese brand is run by one man: Shingo Oosawa. In order to learn a bit more about the man behind the brand and what drives him, we were able to ask him some questions.

Can you give us a brief introduction of yourself?
On a personal note: I'm born in 1976, and I have a wife and two children. I started to like jeans when I was in my early 20's. I started out by wearing jeans made by different brands to compare them. After a while, I wanted to start my own brand. This started with a website on denim, called Denimba (short for 'denim baka', or denim nerd' - DC4). Then in 2012, I started a jeans atelier with two craftsmen to share my passion for jeans by creating them.

How did you start making jeans?
I realized that a blog alone wasn't enough to convey what I thought was interesting and great about jeans. So, I decided to start producing my own jeans so I can put in all the details I think are important. I started sewing myself as well, as I think that designers who can actually craft instead of only draw are better designers.

How did you come up with the brand name?
When I started out making jeans I was introduced to several specialists. These connections were my 'bridge' to the denim world and I was able to start the brand. I decided to put the word 'bridge' in the brand name as not to forget the feeling of gratitude for this bridge and the connection to the people. Also, it would be great if the brand could become a bridge that connects people.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
My children are still small, so I'm playing with them. My daughter is 9 years old and my son is 4 years old. Sometimes I also go fishing. In my previous job, I managed a fishing pond (a place to fish for a fee).

Which jeans makers inspire you?
Any manufacturer that makes jeans at their own factory and workshop.


Thanks for reading! Check out the small collection of Denim Bridge jeans we offer at DC4, including a custom model specially made for DC4.

Sunday 18 April 2021

Denim Bridge

We're excited to present a fairly unknown new denim brand at DC4: Denim Bridge. The brand is founded by Shingo-san, a very passionate denimhead hailing from the Saitama-area, north of Tokyo.

Exclusive at DC4

Denim Bridge isn't something you'll be seeing in any other jeans store: DC4 is the only shop outside of Japan where you can get your hands on a pair. The jeans are made in small batches and only by two very skilled artisans: Shingo-san himself and Kuniyoshi-san, the founder of Double Volante, which based in subtropical Okinawa.


It's very clear Shingo-san puts a lot of love into his creations. This doesn't only show from the high quality denim, stitching and hardware, but by smaller details too. Pay attention to the heavy pocket lining, the creators signature hidden on the size label and the fact the leather patch is covered by a cotton protector. That's because even the patch gets a lot of attention: it's made from Minerva Liscio vegetable tanned leather. The tannery is based in San Miniato, Italy, the heart of the Tuscan leather district. The leather has a smooth, semi-gloss finish. It is drier than leathers stuffed with fats and waxes, so it’s quick to scratch, which adds depth and texture and your patch will age beautifully.

Denim style & sizing

The denim is rich in character and resembles a vintage style denim, this is also the type of fade you can expect. No heavy slubs and neps here. Shingo-san uses medium weight fabric (13.5oz and 14oz) which gets remarkably soft with wear. The jeans are preshrunk and we advice to get your regular size. Please do check if the inseam covers you: this differs per model and ranges from 34.6 inch to 37.2 inch.

The model lineup

We're offering four different models, all made out of 100% Memphis cotton:

BR05 S02
A quintessential regular straight pair, created out of 14oz denim.

BR04 S02 
The same denim as the BR05, but in a slim tapered cut. 

BR03 01
A tight straight fit from a slightly lighter, super soft 13.5oz denim. These jeans are made in Okinawa by Double Volante. 

We'll be honest here: this is our personal favourite. Produced exclusively for DC4, this vintage cut features both belt loops as suspender buttons, a back cinch and a single-stitch construction. One pair takes a staggering 20 hours to produce. The fit is inspired by Levi's from 1922, which is roomier, yet still features a tapered leg. 

Don't wait too long if you want to get your hands on a pair. Stock is limited and as you can imagine, it takes a while to restock as well.

Monday 17 February 2020


Event with the owner Mr.Kazuya Itou on 16th January 2020 in Berlin.

Sunday 28 July 2019

New arrivals: ONI Denim khaki chino & pre-orders

We're happy to offer the coveted ONI Denim 757 Khaki Beige chino for the second summer in a row. This staple piece is a versatile garment that's easy to pair up with some sneakers or boots when the weather gets cooler again.

The chinos are made of 100% cotton 11.9oz selvegde fabric. The fit has a medium rise and the leg is tapered from the knee down, leaving you with plenty or moving room for the warmer days. It has a button fly with donut buttons and is of course made in Japan. We've stocked sizes 31-38 and the chinos are washed, so don't worry about shrinking.

In august we are expecting another shipment of ONI jeans. You can now pre-order these items:

ONI Denim 246ZR-LT17-G
A 17oz, regular straight pair of jeans. The denim on these is very dark and offers green contrast stitching, making these stand out in your collection. Make sure to pre-order yours so you don't miss out: available in sizes 30-38.

ONI Denim 546 Aizumi
This is a tighter fit, made out of 16oz selvedge denim. Available for pre-order in sizes 31-36.

ONI Denim Aizumi Type II denim jacket
This killer denim jacket is made out of the same denim as the 546 Aizumi jeans. The classic Type II silhouette by ONI has been made a bit more practical by adding two side pockets. The donut buttons on the jackets are black, which will wear down to reveal the silver-colored hardware over time. Available in sizes 40 and 42.