Vertical slubs instead of cross hatch,” Scott Morrison said, standing in front of a wall of 70 selvedge denims within his SoHo shop, 3×1. He was not talking in tongues; he was simply talking the language of selvedge denim. Morrison grew up in Rancho Mirage, Ca, performed golf as a kid, went to the College of Washington to play golf on a scholarship, drew up a business plan in college to launch a golf company, then lastly transferred to New York in 1997 and began in on denim.
He got to the party in the right time. “I remember going and buying a couple of Replay Denim jeans and looking at the within and heading, ‘Holy shit, what is Manufactured in Japan? Japanese Denim? Japanese Wash?’ These were $125, which at that time was $25 higher priced than some other product these people were creating.” It was an advantageous enlightenment; through the late ’90s – Morrison locations it around 1999 – onward, high quality denim has become booming. What started with Earl Jean, Frankie B and his awesome Papers Denim And Fabric then relocated into 7 For Those Mankind, JBrand, Real Religious beliefs. Then your wave really caught on and leading up to the current high quality denim businesses have started ad infinitum.
Back in 1999, Morrison and Ken Girard, head of Cone Mills item development, traveled to China. Morrison said that during the time, the Cone Mills selvedge shuttle looms in North Carolina were still. Selvedge, or “self-edge” denim (so named for the firmly weaved band in the end of page of denim), was the traditional kind of denim – “it’s the record participant in the denim business,” said Morrison – and Cone Mills is one in the founding fathers of the material. Beginning in 1891, these were a premier fabric manufacturer, and through the earlier and middle-1900s, they created only one type of denim: selvedge denim on shuttle looms. But as technology developed and the economic climate demanded quicker, cheaper denim, the new rapier, projectile and air jet looms had taken over creation.
When Morrison and Girard headed to Japan, no one was ordering the more slowly, higher priced stretch selvedge denim. “At time, the big brand names, Gap, J.Crew, Esprit, Levis, Lee, Wrangler – every one from the American brand names had been centered on this average price point.”What Morrison found in China had been mills concentrating on high quality denim in the sort North America as soon as created. He remembers it being better over the board, from materials to sewing to wash. And it also left an effect. “My dogs had been named right after Japanese denim mills – Kurabo and Nishimbo. I used to be a bit obsessed, to say the least.”
Next trip, Morrison’s travels in China (as well as in Italy) ongoing, as did his research of high quality denim production. He believed he was not the only real one who’d buy into this domestically given birth to, internationally mastered practice. Morrison’s idea – shared by a couple other premium denim companies at that time – was to bring this high quality back to American jeans. “The premise was, why can’t perform the same inside the Claims?” stated Morrison. He performed, nevertheless it did not capture on right away. He states his first couple of forays into providing selvedge denim failed miserably; clients weren’t ready for $250 jeans. He recalls that stuff that we take for granted on denim jeans nowadays – oven baking, three dimensional-whiskering, hand sanding, chlorine bleach sponging – did not even exist till the early aughts. But Morrison held his eyesight, and through two companies, Paper Denim & Cloth and Earnest Sewn, Morrison developed with America’s interest in premium denim.
Finally, in 2011, he began 3×1, his most specialized project to date. 3×1, provides the biggest selection of selvedge denim in the world. They have, at any time, 70 moves of Stripe denim fabric on their “denim wall structure,” and over the years have introduced a lot more than 1000 different types of selvedge denim, sourced from 22 different mills across elwymw world. “The denim and the mills are definitely the rockstars of the shop,” Morrison stated. 3×1 specializes in specialty, and they cater to a unique, particular customer. “I know our customer will be the one guy that’ll walk in and stay like, ‘That’s fucking amazing, that is what I want,’” said Morrison.
To reach that point takes a bit of training. And without having digging with the annals of denim nerd discussion boards, it will take a bit of converting. So, Morrison offered to offer a lay of the selvedge land – an overview of what you should consider when purchasing high quality denim.