Founded 110 years ago, the Kurabo Mill is one of the oldest manufactures of Japanese textiles today; in fact, it’s considered the birthplace of Japanese selvedge denim. Today, the Kurabo Mill produces the highest quality selvedge denim in the world, earning the respect of denim enthusiasts around the world. Not only are they the leaders in selvedge, but this mill was one of the first to specialise in natural indigo denim. Their unique spinning and dyeing process has been tried and tested for over a century and creates an extremely resilient denim with completely unique fading patterns. The result? Denim that’s as individual as the person wearing it.
The Kuroki Mill, located in Okayama, Japan has been active since 1950, when the mill first started to manufacture and sell cotton fabrics for clothing and industrial use. By the 1970s, Kuroki switched entirely over to denim production and the mill is currently considered one of the best in Japan. The company is divided into three parts which focus on different stages of production. The first is where denim is dyed and sized, the next where the denim is woven on shuttle looms, (which create the selvedge edge lines) and lastly, denim is finished and washed or left raw.
The Cone Mill, based in Greensboro, North Carolina was originally established in 1899 as a textile manufacturing plant primarily producing flannels. In 1905, the mill started to manufacture selvedge denim using traditional shuttle looms, some of which are still in use today. By 1908, the company was the largest denim manufacturer in the world. Today, the company’s signature selvedge denim continues to be woven on 1940s American Draper x3 fly shuttle looms. Passion, unrivalled knowledge and technical expertise have ensured the Cone Mill is synonymous with high-quality denim production.
The family-run Candiani Mill was first established in 1938. With 75 years of experience, the enterprise has grown to become the world’s finest and most sustainable denim mill creating the fabrics that gave birth to the Premium Denim Industry. Candiani firmly believes in the importance of ‘Made in Italy’. Their core values, sustainability and innovation, are deeply woven into each and every fabric. Today, Candiani is known as the greenest textile company in the denim world and produces for the most prestigious names in the market.
NIHON MENPU MILL
Deep in the mountains of Okayama lies Nihon Menpu, a 90-year-old mill specializing in dougi fabrics, and traditional Japanese textiles. The Nihon Menpu mill is synonymous with denim and the highest quality cotton textiles and has worked with a number of renowned luxury brands. This denim begins as unprocessed cotton threads which are then dipped into vats of indigo dye, made from the mill’s secret mixture of pigments and then woven into bolts of fabric on slow, narrow looms that date back to as early as 1920.
First established in 1953, Orta Mill has been weaving a denim heritage passed from generation to generation. After transitioning from a spinning & weaving company to a denim manufacturer in 1985, today the mill produces over 60 million meters of denim per year and creates 700 different fabrics for world famous brands. Though many international mills have struggled to break into the U.S. market, Orta counts many large American brands as clients and is now regarded as an innovation leader in jeans and sportswear production.