A synopsis of the most important and influential denim mills and laundries in Japan, USA, Italy and Turkey ...JAPAN
Kaihara - Hiroshima
Established in 1951 with 34 machines, by 1970 the mill had developed indigo rope dying machines and started a delivery of rope dyed denim in Japan. By the early 90s the mill introduced ring yarn spinning and vintage production by narrow width shuttle machines. Kaihara is renowned for the sanforised selvedge it’s produced for decades.
Established in 1907, the Nisshinbo mill concentrates on ‘Waza’ in its manufacturing, or the outstanding craftsmanship and original techniques of Japan. Importance is attached to Japan’s original production and processing techniques, quality and taste in all stages of production such as spinning, dyeing, weaving and finishing.
Kurabo was founded over 110 years ago. Unique technologies in spinning, dyeing and processing have been the cornerstone for its development in denim technology and have received admiration from around the world. Kurabo was one of the first mills to specialize in natural indigo denim.
From the 60s onwards, vat dyed denim was produced at the Okayama based factory which switched to rope dyeing from 1965 onwards. The factory is renowned for producing a hybrid of traditional/ technological artisanal denim.
Plains Cotton Cooperative Association - Texas
A farmer owned mill with a unique and long standing relationships with Levi’s, producing denim almost exclusively for the brand for the past 20 years.
Conen Mills - North Carolina
Started by Baltimore based-brothers Moses and Caesar Cone, the company was originally a wholesale grocer until 1895 when they started weaving their own denim. By 1912 the Cones operated four mills in Greensboro, North Carolina - Proximity, Revolution, White Oak and Proximity Print Works. The company started supplying denim for Levi’s jeans in 1910, becoming the exclusive supplier for the 501 in 1922. Cone is still one of the world’s biggest denim manufacturers, having integrated with textiles manufacturers Burlington Industries in 2004 to form the International Textiles Group (ITG).
Amoskeag - New Hampshire
A New Hampshire factory town which was the first major source of denim in the US. The Amoskeag Manufacturing Company opened in 1838 and by 1900 claimed to be the world’s biggest textile producer; it later declined due to industrial unrest and competition from southern mills. Amoskeag denim was used exclusively for Levi’s 501 until 1915.
Sights Denim Systems (Laundry) - Kentucky
Once a batch of jeans has been milled and produced, they’re sent to the Sights laundry to be distressed by razor blades, hair dryers, sandpaper and sandblasters. Vintage jeans are used as templates for the treatments; clients include True Religion, Seven, Ernest Sewn, Rogan, Ralph Lauren and Levi’s.
Established in 1953 as a spinning and weaving factory, the site has a production capacity of 45 million square meters of fabric. The factory supplies several global brands including Levi’s and as of 2006 has started to produce certified organic denim fabrics.
Producing 15 million metres of fabric monthly, Isko is Turkey’s biggest production company (second is GAP Guneydogu Tekstil). A fully integrated factory, Isko produces cutting edge denim engineering combined with highly modern production facilities and is responsible for 60% of Turkey’s denim output. Yarn is supplied by Sanko - the biggest supplier of its type in Turkey and a global leader also.
GAP Guneydogu Tekstil
Exporting globally, this mill produces under the name Calik Denim for Levi’s and Diesel predominantly. Produces 57 million metres of denim annually.
Tessitura di Robecchetto Candiani
Based close to Milan, this experimental and creative mill has concentrated exclusively on the production of denim since the installation of its first indigo dyes in 1976. The strength of the mill has been in the innovation and diversification of its Denim.
Legler , Bergamo
Established in 1800s, the mill re-launched in 1972 to produce denim and widening its production to include cotton based Flat and Cord fabrics. Diesel works closely with this Italian based Mill because of their proximity, and have produced new washes together
Martelli Lavorazioni Tessili (Laundry)
For over 50 years the Martelli group has grown progressively, consolidating its place amongst the most highly respected laundries worldwide. Renowned for creative ideas and industrial organization the company can process any type of material, from natural fibers to the latest in cutting edge fabrics.
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denim glossary denim mills and production A synopsis of the most important and influential denim mills and laundries in Japan, USA, Italy and Turkey ...
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