One of the UK’s leading department stores, Selfridges, which is known for having one of the best denim departments, has commissioned MasterCraft Union to launch an installation in their Oxford Street Store in London. The installation features paper sculptures that represent some of the artisan techniques used in the manufacturing process. I think the jeans they have used are so cool, I love the dip dye effect! You can see how it looks in the gallery below as well as some of their new jeans. For those of you not familiar with MasterCraft Union, you can read more about it below.
MasterCraft Union is the meeting of great artisanal textile experts. MCU’s denim is hand-woven in a family-run mill in Okayama, the sewing and washing are carried out high in the mountains of Shimane, where hot spring water and volcanic pumice are used to create the finest denim through a mixture of time honoured techniques and experimental processes. Wash technicians are trained over many years and process each jean by hand, leaving to air dry before reworking over and over again.
While using traditional processes in the manufacture of their jeans, MCU’s concept and aesthetic reflects a more modernist approach. From being the first fully factored Japanese denim collection to utilise stretch denim into some of its handcrafted jeans due to the brand’s slimmer, more contemporary fits, to the use of bonded matte black seam-seal tape to replace the traditional leather patch, MCU is the embodiment of refined expertise.
Japanese ‘Washi’ paper is made by hand in the traditional manner using no chemicals. It involves a long and intricate process which is often undertaken in the cold weather of winter, as pure, cold running water is essential to its production. Stronger and more superior than ordinary paper, the paper has been used in Japan for centuries in many traditional arts such as Origami, as well as in various everyday goods.
MasterCraft Union has exclusively pioneered the use of traditionally milled Japanese ‘Washi’ paper with the weave of its handcrafted denim. It gives the wearer all of the benefits of loom-woven 13.5oz Japanese denim, but with an added durability and a lighter weight feel for increased comfort and breathability. Adding paper into the weaving process also allows the denim to retain its 3D shape and has a shorter wear-in time than standard jeans.
Matercraft Union is a brand that was recently brought to my attention. The brand has taken focus on what denim truly is and created pieces that hold the heritage of the textile, while still being innovative with a modern approach. You can read all about the brand’s details, fabrics and their innovation below, then head over to MATCHES to get a pair for yourself and check out their site here.
“Unique stretch Denim is developed for increased comfort, the first Japanese denim collection to utilise stretch denim into its handcrafted jeans due to the brand’s slimmer, more contemporary fit.
MCU paper Denim is constructed of exclusive fabric, using traditionally milled Japanese paper within the weave of the denim. This aides comfort, breathability & 3D shape retention plus a shorter wear-in time than standard jeans.
The MCU branding reflects the overall unique modernist approach: Italian bonded seam-seal tape replaces the traditional leather patch and matte black enamelling over copper metalware.
MCU use only rope-dyed yarn in its exclusive Okayama selvedge fabrics giving denim the natural highs and lows in colour after long-term wear. Roping is used through the belt loops and back pockets, a method traditionally developed for strength, but also aiding a contrasted, authentic-looking finish.
In construction, MCU finishes its jean with felled seam, a premium heritage technique providing added strength and comfort for the wearer.”