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Anatomy of the Original Raw

It starts with the fabric.

Our Original Denim is a proprietary selvage fabric that Sarah and I designed with a tinted weft yarn, yielding a very particular green-cast indigo (we’re partial to off-the-beaten-path blues). When it’s fresh, it’s dark and clean. As it ages, the starch and indigo wears away and it becomes a beautiful buttery shade of vintage blue.

Hand-Stamped Leather Edition Patch

It shows how many jeans were made in the batch and which number is yours. The leather breaks in as sumptuously as the denim.

Past Winners:

The offset back belt loop

The offset back belt loop is a comfort detail. When you are laying down looking at the clouds, you won’t feel it so much, since it keeps layers of fabric from pressing against your back. It’s also a way we make use of the selvage edge scrap.

The Waistband Chain and Tuck

We use red thread on the inside of the jeans to highlight some craftsmanship in the stitching. On the waistband, not only do we fold the ends as we are sewing (which is not easy), we take another extra step of chain stitching past the edge. Because of this, the chain stitch creates a “chain” off the end of the waistband. Rather than clip this, we lovingly tuck it into the end for a cleaner, more refined finish.

(This is the Reece 101.)

The three-thread buttonhole with hidden red stitch from the Reece 101.

The Motto is On The Inside

On the inside of the waistband, you will see a small label with the fit name. Fun fact all the fit names are NC Counties. Flip it up and you’ll find the NC State Motto there -- we’ve always found this to be a helpful reminder as we make our way about the world.

The Triple Stitch Seam

The triple stitch on the fell seam of the riser makes for a stronger seam but that’s not all — two of those stitches are gold and one is blue. As the jeans break in and the denim lightens, the third stitch becomes more visible.

The Two Pronged Rivet

Our two pronged rivet is smaller, more elegant, and more powerful than conventional rivets. (they’re a pain in the arse to work with so you probably won’t see them on many other garments out in the wild). The two prongs have to pierce the fabric, pierce the metal of the burr and then curl back to hold it all together tight. We adjust each one with pliers beforehand to make the prongs set just right against each other.

This rivet feels carnal to me. Like a wolf sinking its teeth into its prey.

Non-Automated Cross Hatch Back Pocket Stitching

We say “Handcrafted by Non-automated Jeansmiths” on our labels. One of the ways this makes is a difference is the back pocket shape and stitching. Instead of using an automatic back pocket setting machine, we single needle stitch the back pockets one at a time, by hand, and cross stitch the bottom corners — juuuust a little as a design detail, to reinforce the strength of the pockets, and to show how-we-do.

Union Special 43200G chainstitch hem

We have 4 of them and are the only company we know of using this machine in production. It twists the bottom of the hem and creates a rope-like wear pattern over time.

(As far as we know, there are only about 40-50 of these machines in working order in the world.)