Last week on DHQ I wrote a piece about Manchester based brand Joe & Co Denim, owned and operated by experienced clothing pioneer Josef Schindler. Aside from introducing the brand I was also sent two very different pairs of Joe & Co jeans to take a look at, made from very different denim and in totally different styles, they provided me with a good idea of what we can expect from Joe & Co as a jeans maker, which is what I find important around these parts. I must apologise in advance for the iPhone quality images, I have managed to break the screen of my DSLR.
The first pair ,on intial inspection, reminded me of a lighter weight version of Pure Blue Japan’s 007 model, with the deep indigo coloured warp and grey tinged weft. The denim is made by Italian manufacturer Candiani and weighs in at around 11.75oz, it has been dyed in a slasher machine using 1 part sulphur to 7 parts indigo, with an indanthene weft, this gives a pronounced roping effect on the hems. The denim has been skewed, sanforised and singed to give it a soft hand and smooth surface with little to none shrinking potential. The denim is a consistent and tight weave with selvedge seams and a good quality feel. An interesting feature to note is the leather donut on the reverse of the buttons to strengthen the rivet from pulling through the denim under stress, a really well thought out feature.
The second pair are made from Japanese Nihon Menpu denim from Kojima. The denim weighs in at approximately 13oz and is made from the famed and much sought after Zimbabwe long staple cotton which is a soft and pliable cotton able to absorb dye in much the same way as vintage jeans, and therefore leading to strong vertical fade patterns seen in vintage jeans. The weave is relatively loose and has quite a lot of character giving a surface texture which is both soft and at the same time uneven, the quality is as good as you would expect from one of the most lauded Japanese mills around. The cinch back is a nice vintage touch also.
I was very pleased with the quality and feel of the Joe & Co jeans, there seems to be an acceptance over much of the denim community still that real high quality jeans can only be made in Japan and the USA so it is great for me when I see and handle jeans that disprove this. J&C are a brand who do things the right way, they work hard and they don’t cut corners but most importantly they understand their product on a level that is rare in modern clothing manufacture and you really get a sense from talking to Joe Schindler that he and his brand have earned their stripes the hard way, through experience and tough times. However, you also get a keen sense that this is a brand which has been in the making for a long time, Joe has worked on things lesser to get himself and his brand to a level today where he can begin to present items that he has wanted to make all his life, these aren’t just jeans to Joe they are a realisation of his time served in the business, and they will not disappoint. Make no mistake, this is a brand to keep a close watch on.