Exclusive Insights Into 3sixteen’s Visit To Kuroki Mills, Japan
Since 2007, Kuroki Mills Has produced the Unique 3sixteen denim – Now, Andrew and Johan Visit the Mill in Japan
Although they were intimately involved with the design and development of the denim, they had never actually visited the mill itself. That is until now. Founders Andrew Chen and Johan Lam give us the exclusive inside track on exactly how their denim is produced. They take us on a fascinating journey right into the heart of the Okayama region. The mecca for denim production in Japan.
How 3sixteen Got Involved With Kuroki
Kuroki’s history stretch back to the Edo period, but the Kuroki we know today, Kuroki Co., Ltd. was founded in 1984. Already in 1970, Kuroki made denim exclusively. The mill undertakes almost all steps in the production of denim, including rope dyeing, weaving and fabric finishing.
Except spinning, all the processes needed to create a denim take place under one roof. This gives Kuroki an incredible amount of control and a vast knowledge base on which to build their fabrics. Indeed many other mills will outsource some production process to Kuroki.
It can be a tricky thing for a brand to have denim that is unique to it. The costs associated due to the minimum yardage order can be a prohibitive obstacle to overcome.
When Andrew and Johan took the leap to designing a denim they sought the sage advice of their friends and partners at Self Edge. Kiya Babzani introduced them to Kuroki Mills.
With Kuroki Mills, they found an open and supportive atmosphere.
“They were immediately open and receptive to working with us to develop some fabrics. They made it very easy to take our non-technical list of desires and turn it into a first round sample.”
The First Denim 3sixteen Made With Kuroki
The denim they created was their flagship 100x/120x denim, which has garnered a reputation for the ease of breaking in and the fading potential it provided.
Woven from ringspun long-staple Zimbabwe cotton, the warp yarns are rope dyed 7 times and woven on the famous Toyoda looms.
Kuroki also helped out in accommodating a slightly smaller order than they would normally take. It was a leap of faith for both companies. But one that worked out extremely well.
“It was a scary step for us to take – it was more denim that our company had ever committed to buying before.”
Since then Andrew and Johan have gone on to produce many more denim fabrics with Kuroki. Each fitting into a very specific part of the 3sixteen catalogue. There is no whim here. Just fantastic denim cut and sewn into fantastic fits.