FWA Number 9 – The Jelado Athletic Hoody

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Jelado are a company with their fingers in many pies, to say that their range is broad and diverse would be akin to saying that my giant, bald head is, well…….giant and bald, meaning that it is an obvious statement. So broad is their range that they sub divide it into different labels under the overall umbrella of Jelado, and all of this is the brain child of vintage clothing enthusiast and competitive kick boxer Yohei Goto and man who’s eye for detail and ruthless pursuit of authenticity is both admirable and obsessive. In a way it is strange that when first viewing a brand with so much happening in their range, from the most stunning leather jackets you will ever see to a variety of shirts that is simply jaw dropping, that it was their knitwear which most intrigued me.

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Virtually every high end Japanese denim and work wear brand makes knitwear these days, more often than not it is made on loop wheel looms and more often than not it is made in Wakayama prefecture, long established as the home of the Japanese of textile production (outside of denim), so it is no surprise to find out that Jelados knitwear is made on vintage loop wheel looms in Wakayama prefecture, so why do I rate it so highly? I guess the only things that I can point to on a personal level are experience of many other manufacturers knitwear (I will not name names as that would be grossly unfair and open me up to all sorts of accusations), and personal preference.

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Speaking comparatively, firstly the Jelado knitwear is thicker and softer than other brands (caveat being that I have heard people say the same about the Strike Gold knitwear, and I must confess that I have not tried it), this gives the garment far more depth and substance, it just feels nicer on your body. Secondly it shrinks to fit, coming down around half a size after the first soak, which results in a garment that really does mould to your body like a gloriously soft and warm cocoon. I think of the Jelado hoody as my “soft armour” and I think this description perfectly fits how it makes me feel when I wear it.

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To wax lyrical for a moment about the more technical aspects of the hoody, it is a classic 1950’s slim, box but slightly extended in length. It is made with a separate piece hood and constructed using a stitch pattern authentic to the period with a thin silk blended thread for an appreciable improvement in durability and strength. The cuffs and waist band are both reinforced to keep their elasticity and the brushed inner makes it feel like cotton wool even after repeated washing. This last point is a criticism that I have had of other loop wheeled items I have owned, what is beautifully soft when new quickly becomes quite course after only a couple of washes, this had tainted my view of loop wheel to the point where I had dismissed it as a baseless fad until I happened upon this ever fluffy cloth, faith instantly restored.

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This garment fullfils the FWA requirement by being classicly designed and super tough, it literally feels like it was made to last forever and more than that it makes the wearer want it to last forever too.

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