Edwin Jeans on GQ


Edwin jeans have been around for a while, in fact, since they were established in Japan in 1947. It’s the brand’s craftsmanship that has contributed to their longevity. After attempting to import the product from the United States, the company became the first denim company in Japan in 1951. However, the jeans were still expensive and lacking in quality. After trials and tribulations, Edwin denim company was officially established. The name comes from the letters in denim, the E, D, I, N, and the W is an upside down M. It was this attention to the details and the focus on quality that helped the brand succeed. The brand recently published a terminology guide on GQ for some of the basics of the basics that go into your pair of Edwin jeans.

Branding patch
This is traditionally situated on the back right exterior of the waistband and used to identify the brands logo, and information such as size, lot number and style of the jean. Branding patches are usually leather, oil cloth or imitation leather Some patches are designed so that a belt can be past though its underside, thus also acting as a belt loop.

Suspender buttons
These are buttons attached to the jean, more commonly used prior to the popularisation of the belt loop. Suspender buttons are fixed and allow the jeans wearer to attach their suspenders or braces to the jean. This was more commonly used in the late thirties. Denim companies today often choose to add this detailing to ‘heritage’ or ‘vintage’ reproductions or replicas of modernised vintage products.

The ‘cinch’ or ‘martingale’ is sewn to the back of the jeans, it allows the wearer to tighten and adjust the waistband to ones size. This was mainly abandoned when Levi ┬« added the belt loop on the 501 ┬« style in 1922, although the suspender buttons and cinch remained, their use became increasingly less important as people opted for the comfort of a belt.

Invented by tailor Jacob Davis these are used to reinforce and strengthen stress points on items – such as harnesses. Davis started to produce copper riveted work pants and overalls made from duck cloth. Rivets are still used today as a means of strengthening denim, however new methods have been developed using sewing techniques.

Also know as the ‘riser’, this is on the back section of the seat of a jean, which gives the shape or curve. Different jeans styles have different depths of yoke allowing for different shaped curves to the seat. The yoke can be identified by its V-shape. Cowboys traditionally used jeans with a deeper yolk.

This is the rear portion of a jean encompassing the rear pockets just beneath the yolk. Sometimes referred to as the ‘saddle’.

This is the double stitch detailing found on the back pockets identifying the brand. Today, denim companies have their individual stitching design used to communicate their brand. During WWII due to cotton shortages, Levis opted to paint their ‘arcuate’ on the back pockets of their jeans. This in turn inspired Evisu to use this identifying arcuate application on their denim.

This is a modern method used to replicate the fading of denim within specific areas of the jean such as the crotch, pocket wear, back of the knee and sometimes on the thigh areas. This accentuates the areas of a jeans natural creasing through wear. Whiskering is very difficult to achieve with a natural look and is best executed by hand.

Left-hand twill
Is the fabric with is woven from the top left-hand corner to the bottom right. Left-hand twill fabrics are known to offer a softer hand feel following washing. Lee traditionally uses left-hand twill fabrics, which is also known as ‘s twill’. The fabric is woven from a single plied yarn and is most commonly piece dyed.

Right-hand twill
This is where the weave line rises from left to right. This produces a diagonal or twill line and is the most common from of weaving denim fabric. Single warp yarns are woven right-hand, double warp yarns woven left-hand.

Coin pocket
On a five pocket pair of jeans, this is commonly known as the ‘fifth’ pocket used as a watch pocket. Though it is actually the ‘fourth’ pocket as the back left pocket was the official ‘fifth’ pocket added in 1905 thus creating the term ‘five pocket jeans’.

Belt loop
These are the loops allowing one to slide a belt through and therefore hold up the jean to ones correct waist size and avoid slipping. These eventually replaced both the suspender and cinch functions following their addition to Levi® jeans in 1922.

A method of wear given to certain selective areas of the jean such as along the side seams, along the front and back of the knees, belt loops, hem and pocket seams.

This is another form of reinforcing stress points and has been used to replace to the use of rivets on some modern denim products.

This is a vertical white or faded thread alongside an indigo thread. It occurs in vintage denim where the thread is of irregular width. The thread creates strong lines where it is widest and becomes more apparent when the denim fades.

Terminology guide from GQ Magazine here.

Learn more about Edwin at Edwin-Europe.com