Tuesday 28 May 2013

Custom Leather Patches made by DC4

one of our customers has used our option to create a personal and unique
 leather patch from DC4. 

We have pimped his contest jawns with a special motive 
showing Brutus and Popeye fighting.

His Samurai ASJ Naniwa Special is limited to one hundred pairs and not available
 outside of Japan. 
This pair is made of the same famous slubby raw 19oz denim as the Samurai S710XX available at our store.

We wish you all the best for the contest !

Monday 20 May 2013

The evolution of Iron Heart denim

Speaking of denim, probably one of the hardest things to avoid is the temptation to wash your jeans too early instead of keep using them for an extended period of time. Well, denim needs to be washed and it's less critical than what many people tend to think. Of course it's a personal thing to decide when, but is a fact that keeping the denim dirty makes it prone to suffer rips or lead to a fast wear of the fabric.

To help to make these statements graphic, two good friends shared the positive experiences they had with  Iron Heart jeans. The first one is our pride and joy: the collab between Iron Heart and DC4 Berlin. The DC4001 model was wore by Steffen aka ChuckDenim from the Iron Heart forum. This pair of jeans is made from sanforized 21oz indigo selvage denim, it has bronze colored hardware, poly-core thread yarn, heavy duty pockets lining and taped front pocket opening.

This pair was bought in January 2011 and used for a period of a year. No initial soak and washed  around 5 or 6 times, the first one after 6 months of effective wear. The jeans have had two crotch repairs.

Jeans when new

Crotch repair

The second pair is a 634s-raw sent and wore by Rafa, aka Finn666, also from the Iron Heart forum. This super heavy 21oz denim shrunk to 23oz after its initial soak. It features poly-cotton thread on its construction, half lined rear pockets, belt loops sewn direct to the waist band, a button fly and hidden rivets.

The jeans were bought in December 2011 and got two initial soaks before its first wear. The first wash was after 6 months. Until now the jeans have been washed about 14 times. The owner worked in a warehouse for 9 months, just to have an idea of the treatment the jeans got. It counts 4 crotch repairs, self made it with poly-cotton thread.

The contrast on this pair is remarkable, the whiskers are wide and the knee area presents also very noticeable wear, reflecting the day-to-day activities.

Rear view
Leather patch evo 
Back pocket detail
Crotch repair
Contrast on the honey combs

Wednesday 8 May 2013

New Arrivals: more 15th Anniversary denim by Samurai Jeans

Three brand new pairs of Samurai jeans have arrived in the online store. All three have details that will only come out on batches produced this year, since it's Samurai's 15 anniversary. This means every pair has a special leather patch, a red tab with gold instead of silver stitching, a custom flasher and last but not least, a denim bag & pin-back button.

The models that are available are the indigo Samurai S710XX, which is one a tapered slim fit made out of a heavy 19oz denim - it fades fast and it fades beautifully.

Next is the Samurai S003JP - the slimmest fit of Samurai that we carry. Fans of slim-fit jeans like The Flat Head 3001/1001 will surely like the S003JP too. The denim on this one is pretty spectacular, being made out of a blend of pima an Egyptian cotton. With 15oz, this pair of jeans is even summer-proof.

The last pair is a Samurai S0110XJII - or simply 'Jin'. This is a Japanese take on Lee denim from the 1940's. The 17oz left-hand twill denim has a gorgeous hue of indigo, which will fade slightly more like the jeans from the old days instead of high-contrast fades.

All the jeans are low on stock, but we are expecting more jeans to arrive from Osaka in a month. Next to these pairs we'll also offer the 15th Anniversary-versions of the black S710XX and a the heaviest Samurai so far: the 25oz S5000VX.

Thursday 2 May 2013

Cordovan leather: an in depth look

Shell cordovan is a type of leather often used in shoemaking, but also found in wallets, belts, card holders and other small garments. Is an equine leather made from the flat shell just below the hide on the butt of the horse.

It was originally prepared by the Moors in the city of Cordoba, Spain, from where it takes its name. At first  was used to manufacture goods as trunks, soldiers shields and armor. Some of the characteristics of this particular leather is excellent gloss, soft texture, durability and in some degree a self-healing property.

The famous Horween Leather Company is known for its production of high-quality shell cordovan and also as the only producer in North America. They were called it once the "Cordovan capital of the world".

Japanese cordovan
Japan is also well know as a reputed producer of the high quality leather. The best horse hides from Europe, specially from France, are imported to  just a few of the finest tanneries in Japan, Shinki-Hikaku Co. is one of them. They are based at the south of the country, in the city of Himeji. They select carefully every horse in Europe using high standards and strict regulations.

Cordovan, Shinki-Hikaku on top of Horween

Process of producing cordovan
The process to make cordovan begins using a cool dented bench to cut and separate the oval shaped butt from the front of the hide. The butt due its properties are more suitable for the fabrication of shoes while the fronts is better for  garments. Then the hides are washed and  pass through a cleaning process to remove fat and hair, after this the hides are submerged in a bath for several months with agitators. After this stage, the hides are selected, dried and set aside for months allowing them to shrink and cure. That shrinkage it takes off  30% of the hide, this and the production time involved gives to this product an expensive status.

The final steps on this process is soften the hides, bring out the grain, dying, moisturize the skin, sanding and adding finish on the leather.

Conditioning the leather
Maintenance of cordovan leather is in some way simple, it just needs to be cleaned with a damp soft cloth and polished with a soft hair brush. The use of any other oil, cream, wax or similar is almost  necessary and  in some cases can become armful to the shell.

Between the more remarkable costumers from Shinki-Hikaku Co. tannery we have found brands like The Flat Head, Real McCoy's and Toy McCoy's. Also Iron Heart offers a luxury line of wallets made with the best cordovan leather. Some prime examples:

The Flat Head long and mid wallet, together with a cordovan card case
R.J.B. cordovan shoes and two The Flat Head long wallets in black cordovan
The Flat Head belt clip